By qualifying for the upcoming Fastpitch 56 State Softball Tournament in Sulphur, the Lady Tigers have given the entire athletic program something to hang their hats on.

Since the school's inception four years ago, Beekman Charter has struggled athletically. By qualifying for the upcoming Fastpitch 56 State Softball Tournament in Sulphur, the Lady Tigers have given the entire athletic program something to hang their hats on.

"It's a big accomplishment for the athletic program as a whole," said Caroline Oliphant, who doubles as the Lady Tigers' basketball and softball coach. "The girls are excited. Since we started the program, they've been saying, 'We want to go to Sulphur.'"

Making the playoffs in their first year of eligibility last season, the Lady Tigers lost to Grand Lake 6-0 in the first round. Beekman's first playoff game was an experience in itself. After traveling to Cameron Parish only to be rained out, the Lady Tigers were forced to make the long trip again the following day.

Moving forward to 2017, Tuesday's first round playoff victory over Lincoln Prep represented two firsts for the school's varsity sports program. It was Beekman's first home playoff game in any sport as well as its first postseason victory.

The Lady Tigers reached a new plateau with an 8-6 second-round win over District 2-1A rival Delta Charter in Ferriday on Friday night.

Getting to where they are now hasn't been easy as the Lady Tigers were at a low point just a couple of weeks ago.

Beekman's first visit to Delta Charter resulted in a forgettable 7-1 loss to the Storm on Thursday, April 6. Things would not get any better over the next two days as the overmatched Lady Tigers dropped three Mangham Tournament games to Ouachita Christian (9-4), Sterlington (20-3) and Mangham (16-1). To put the caliber of competition in perspective, District 2-2A co-champs Sterlington and Mangham have both qualified for Sulphur.

"We took three beatings," Oliphant said. "We played three good teams — Sterlington, Mangham and OCS. I was thinking at the time that it wasn't good scheduling on my part, but I'm glad we went to Mangham now."

Though it wasn't necessarily a pleasant experience, the Mangham Tournament which dropped the Lady Tigers to 5-13, proved to be a turning point.

"I gave our starters some pine time to light a fire under them," Oliphant recalled.

A team meeting following the Saturday, April 8 game against Mangham added fuel to the fire.

"We had a come-to-Jesus meeting," Oliphant said.

Despite the lopsided losses, Oliphant left the Mangham Tournament with a glimmer of hope.

"Even though we lost all three games, we hit the ball against some good Double-A pitching, and it gave us some confidence," Oliphant said. "We've been rolling ever since."

Beekman (9-13) is now riding a season-best four-game winning streak.

"We've had a lot of downs this year, but we've played ball these last few games. Our seniors have really stepped up," Oliphant said, referring to pitcher Madison Risinger, second baseman Megan Huntsman and center fielder Holleigh Johnson.

Matched against District 2-1A champion Oak Grove at noon Thursday in the quarterfinals, Beekman will need to pull off an even bigger upset to continue its postseason run. Oak Grove won a convincing 10-1 decision over Beekman on March 28.

While Sulphur is a new experience for the BCS Lady Tigers, the Lady Tigers from West Carroll have made the trip on a regular basis, winning the 2A state title in 2014.

"With us, it's going to be country come to town," Oliphant said. "They've been there — I think that's where they have an advantage. The stage is not going to be too big for them. I don't think our kids will know what it's all about until they get down there and see it."

Then again, nobody — including Oliphant — gave the Lady Tigers much of a chance to make it this far in the first place.

"If you would have told me a month ago that we would be going to Sulphur, I would have probably laughed in your face," Oliphant said. "I don't know how many 9-win teams have made it to Sulphur, but we're finally starting to play like I knew we could."