Rains belted two home runs while going 7-for-9 during the regional tournament as the Warriors outscored their opponents 36-5 in three games.
“That's as good as we've swung the bats all season,” Howard said. “You hope that carries over to this week. If we swing the bats anything like we did in regionals it's going to be very tough to beat us.”
The Warriors have seven starters back from last season's team, which advanced to the state semifinals.
“That will certainly help this year,” Howard said of his team's experience. “Mostly our focus is we're not OK with just getting here. We get here a lot. We want to win it.”
For Wells, the reality of her high school fastpitch career coming to close has begun to set in. But as long as she comes away with a state championship, she's fine with it.
“I'm going to leave it all our there this weekend,” Wells said. “Fastpitch is what I've worked my hardest for. I started pitching when I was 11, so I feel like I've been working for this since then.”
Washington is set to take on Meeker at 11 a.m. Thursday in the first round of the state tournament. All games in the 3A tournament will be played on Field 4 at The Ball Fields at Firelake in Shawnee.