DIAMOND, Mo. — The Diamond High School softball team made it clear last season that they were a force to be reckoned with, and they kept that reputation this season- which is why they’re set to play in their second straight final four on Monday.

The Lady Wildcats got knocked out in the final four by Potosi last time around, but this season, they feel more prepared. The experience of having been in this spot before makes things less intimidating. In fact, this year, they’re the ones with the intimidation factor. After playing a much tougher schedule this season than last year, they have a 27-3 record to show for it.

“This team team seems much stronger this year. I feel like offensively, defensively, we’re more sound. We’re keeping our emotions in check better this year,” says Kelsey Parrish, Diamond head coach. “So I’m just super proud of them. Again, I was super proud of them last year but this year I think that we have the opportunity to get a little bit farther than we did last year.”

Madi Bentley, Diamond pitcher, says, “We’re gonna be strong. Our mindset is going to be strong. You know, we work a lot on mentality and our mental side of the game. We’re gonna come out fielding great because our defense is amazing. Our hitting, we’re gonna work on it, we’re gonna go strong. And it’s just gonna be all around a great, strong, confident team tomorrow.”

First pitch is set for 11:00 a.m. at Killian Softball Complex in Springfield.