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MARBLE FALLS — The Faith Academy of Marble Falls softball team has qualified for the playoffs in its first season back since taking a break from the sport in 2006.

The Lady Flames (15-3 overall, 8-2 district) are the runners-up in District 4 Class 3A of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools and will face Bayton Christian in a one-game, winner-take-all bi-district championship at 12:30 p.m. May 5 at the YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond, 1601 S. Water St. (U.S. 281) in Burnet.

Head coach Bobby Tipps said Faith entered the season with very few expectations.

“It was unchartered water for our girls,” he said. “To win a game, let alone finish second in district, is phenomenal. I have a good group of girls. They learned from each other. They cheered for each other.”

Tipps said he knew he had a special team when the Lady Flames competed in a tournament at Austin Brentwood Christian on March 12-14 when they beat Pflugerville Connally’s junior varsity team 27-0 en route to winning the event.

“We had no clue what we were up against,” he said. “I thought, ‘Maybe we have something here. The girls are starting to show their true potential.’”

Faith uses two pitchers, Katelyn Terrell and Alisha Williams. The coach said the two have a different style from each other, which keeps batters off balance.

Terrell has more than 110 strikeouts in more than 50 innings with an ERA of .86. Williams has an ERA of 2.53 with 35 strikeouts in more than 15 innings.

In addition, the team plays solid defense because of the discipline of the infielders, he said.

All but two batters are hitting .414 or better, which takes pressure off the pitcher and defense, Tipps said.

“We’re a pretty aggressive team,” he said. “We have 269 stolen bases.”

Terrell has 58, while Delaney Tipps recorded 47 and Hannah Marks has 36.

The coach said softball has done more for his players than simply allowing them to prove themselves on the diamond.

“It teaches character, it forces team discipline,” he said. “It builds up kids, not just on a team but in school and in the community.”