THORNDALE, Texas — The Thorndale High School softball team is swinging its way into the history books.
"It's been pretty amazing," coach Lance Betak said. "The whole run we've had, the entire year."
Thorndale is a perfect 10-0 this playoff run, sweeping each series in the first five rounds.
A 10-game journey the Lady Bulldogs have been on with their biggest fan -- Bubba.
"I'll tell you what, he's brutally honest," Betak said. "If you win, he's all fired up and if you lose, he'll give you a hard time."
A Thorndale native who graduated with almost all of the coaches, Bubba, who has downs syndrome, sits in the stands and watches the team as its made history, because he loves his Bulldogs.
So, while he and the entire town of Thorndale are elated to pack their bags and head down Highway 79 to Austin, it comes with a little bit of pressure.
"He's given Coach (John) Kovar a hard time about getting runner up at state in basketball," Betak said, laughing. "He rides him about not winning the whole thing. So, hopefully, we'll be able to finish this thing off in the state championship and he won't give me a hard time."
It comes, too, with a recent gift to Bubba.
"We had given him a helmet we all signed," senior right fielder Ashton Kiesling. "It was actually Maddie Flores' idea and it was really cool of her to be able to come up with that. It meant a lot to him and it meant a lot to us, he cried and then that made us cry, of course."
"It means so much more than just any other regular season thing that we've gotten accomplished," Flores, a senior second baseman, said. "So much more knowing that he's behind us and supporting us and that he's our number one fan. It feels great to do it for him, too."
So the town hopes that maroon Bulldog helmet turns into a gold medal in Austin.
And it may only take one swing of the bat.
The Lady Bulldogs face Windthorst at noon Wednesday at McCombs Field in Austin, at the University of Texas.
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