After back-to-back state appearances, Ray-Pec softball seeing success on the diamond

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PECULIAR, Mo. -- Ray-Pec softball is making headlines again after a nearly 20-year absence.

A year ago, Ray-Pec made its first state tournament appearance since 2002. That set the stage for this season.

"It's unbelievable. It's so hard to get there at all. But to do it two years in a row, it just says a lot about our kids and their character and how they've just dug in and made it happen," Ray-Pec coach Jim Brown said.

The Panthers played with a little extra hop in their step, and it paid off big.

"If we weren't working together so well, I don't think we'd have the chance to get back two years in a row," Kerstyn Finch said.

She's talking about the state tourney. This year, they finished runner-up. Their talent made them one of the top teams in the state. But it's their attitude that's kept them on top.

"We don't focus too hard because when we focus about stuff like really hard, then stuff will go down hill," outfielder Kate Lewis said.

Brown said playing this late in the season is something his girls could get used to. They're hunger to succeed drives them to consistency.

"We try to build a culture and a climate of to be proud of who we are and what we do. That's what we talk about a lot and sweat the little things. Make the little things matter," Brown said.

For their efforts on the diamond, Ray-Pec softball earns this week's Hy-Vee and FOX4 Team of the Week honors.

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