In Hico, there’s just something about playing for “dear old Dad.”

The town was taken on a magic ride through the state basketball playoffs by a girls team led by Cassi Stegall and her father, head coach Brad Stegall.

The Hico softball team (6-4, 3-2) is now looking to achieve a similar feat, as pitching standout Stacey Underwood is the daughter of head coach John Underwood.

Underwood the daughter has struck out 45 batters in five district games. With her in the circle, Hico is in the thick of the District 6-2A playoff race.

The sophomore will be the starter again today, dad says, when the Lady Tigers visit state power Early at 4:30 p.m.

“We’re going to try and sneak one in there,” said Coach Underwood. “They hit the ball really well, but if Stacey can hit the edges of the plate the way she has and we back her up in the field, we always have a chance.”

One big reason Underwood always gives Hico a chance is because she doesn’t allow many free passes. In 35 innings of work in district play, she has issued just six walks. She averages nine Ks and just 1.2 walks per contest and has an earned run average of just 3.40.

Hico has also proved efficient at the plate with four batters posting averages of at least .310.

Kim Ramos leads the way with her impressive .588 average and even more impressive .632 on-base percentage. She also leads the team in RBIs with eight.

Kelly Algood bats .467 with an on-base percentage of .556 and five RBIs, while Sierra Sklar hits .316 with five RBIs and Stacey Underwood hits .386, boasts an on-base percentage of .455 and has driven six runs home.

After Friday’s road trip to Early, the Lady Tigers return home to close out the first half of district play against arch-rival Dublin at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.