They were told to play with intensity.
And for the most part the Thomson High School Lady Bulldogs did just what Head Coach Jason Osborn had instructed they do against the visiting Harlem High Lady Bulldogs last Thursday at the Thomson field.
But it was the Harlem Lady Bulldogs coming out on top, 5-3 in a key region win, which left Harlem with a perfect 3-0 region record following the victory over Thomson.
For Thomson's Lady Bulldogs, meanwhile, it marked their first region loss of the season and left them with a 1-1 mark.
"We knew when we were coming to Thomson that it would be a tough game," remarked first year Harlem Head Coach Mike Leverett. "This was a big win against Thomson."
Coach Leverett, whose Lady Bulldogs are now 12-3 overall, said his players "just need to start learning to make the easy plays on the field and I think they'll be alright."
Harlem took a 3-0 lead after three innings of play - scoring a pair of runs in the top of the second and another one in the third.
Thomson wasn't able to score until the bottom of the fourth inning. During that at bat, the team scored all three of their runs - thanks in part to four errors committed by Harlem.
Thomson High came alive just after senior second baseman Nichole Usry led off the inning by flying out to right field on a hard hit line drive.
Center fielder Heather Shivers then reached on a routine fielding miscue by the Harlem second baseman. Shivers didn't stopped running until she got to second base.
Thomson pitcher Chelsea Reeves then aided her own cause, lining a single into left field that allowed Shivers to move to third base and eventually race home when the right fielder dropped the ball in her attempt to throw back to an infielder.
Hannah Pereda kept the inning alive with a single into right field. Reeves and Pereda later scored to tie the game at 3-3.
The game remained tied until the top of the fifth, when Harlem scored two more runs. Thomson was held hitless in their last three at-bats by Harlem senior pitcher Brittany Newsome.
She allowed Thomson just three hits - all singles. Newsome also struck out three batters and walked three. Thomson pitcher Chelsea Reeves, meanwhile, walked five and gave up eight hits.