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No more head games

For the first time in five years, Broco Thunder is in the Kamloops and District Ladies Softball Association playoffs.

For the first time in five years, Broco Thunder is in the Kamloops and District Ladies Softball Association playoffs.

More importantly, they're after the midget B girls provincial championship this weekend but the girls and their coaches are mighty grateful for the lessons they learned from the older women.

"(Kamloops Electric Motor Masters) are a very, very good team," says 19-year-old pitcher Carla Tyson, with a touch of awe. "They can get way up on us but that teaches us not to get down on ourselves."

In fact, Thunder lost 17-4 to the Masters on Tuesday, giving up eight runs in the third inning and seven more in the seventh, but they kept the Drobot Dragons closer, handing them a 4-3 decision.

The head games are gone, she says.

"We used to get down (in runs) and give up, shut down.… We just have to shake it off.

"Some of us, when we'd strike out, we chuck our helmets but that doesn't help the team."

Actually, Tyson admits with a grin, she was one of the worst offenders.

However, a team meeting at Richmond's invitational tournament earlier in the season solved a lot.

"We talked about a lot of things and how we have to lead by example. Plus, having dad ream me out didn't hurt."

Dad is coach Bob Tyson.

He says the girls have become much more mature, patient and knowledgeable about the game by playing in the senior women's league.

The focus all year, though, is provincials and the Western Canadians.

"We have very high expectations," says Carla. "We already have our hotels booked in Saskatoon for the Westerns and the coaches have their time off (from work) booked."

Thunder needs to place in the Top 2 of this weekend's 16-team tournament at Charles Anderson Stadium to win the berth.

While she says no team can be taken lightly, she and her teammates are confident they can play and beat any team.

"We believe we can win. If everyone comes to play, we're unstoppable."

The provincial championship started at 9 a.m. this morning and runs through tomorrow to the championship game Sunday afternoon.