Softball wins back-to-back state championships

Jags softball dog piles after state title game.
Photo by: The Jag staff

Jags softball dog piles after state title game. Photo by: The Jag staff

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By Hannah Smith  

Reporter

Winning last year wasn’t enough for the Class 4 State Softball Champions, so the Jaguars brought home another trophy this year, winning 10-0 against the Ray-Pec Panthers.

Senior Addie Lightner expresses her thoughts on the championship experience.

“It’s a great way to end my senior season, and I wouldn’t want to finish it any other way,” said Lightner, who pitched the shutout this year.

Last year Lightner also helped bring home the state championship. She will be continuing her softball and academic career at the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

Senior center fielder Regi Hecker explains what it feels like to win a state championship.

“It’s amazing! I can’t think of a better way to end my high school career. It’s going to forever stick with me and it’s a great way to remember South softball,” she said.

Hecker will be continuing her academic and softball career at Valparaiso University, and she also helped the Jags win their State title last year.

Winning a state championship is crazy in general, but having four consecutive state appearances, and having back-to-back state championships is insane. Head coach Kristi Williams had a lot to say about their unbelievable appearance.

“It’s pretty unreal, just to know what the girls have accomplished. Most teams are trying to get there one time, but the fact that the girls who are graduating this year don’t know what’s it’s like to not continue to the state championship is unreal,” Williams said.

The road to state wasn’t so easy. The Jags started 9-0 until Park Hill broke the streak with an 8-7 win over the Jags. From there the Jags lost four out of five games. One of the losses was to Ray-Pec by a score of 5-0, which the Jags would later run into in the State Championship. The Jaguars ended the regular season strong winning four out of six games.

After winning the district championship over Lee’s Summit North, who previously beat the Jags in conference two times before then, the Jags kept pushing all the way through.

Once in the State Tournament the Jags beat the Truman Patriots 6-0 moving onto the final 8. Beating Liberty 13-6 meant the journey would continue in the final four. Despite a slow start against Rock Bridge the Jags managed to end the semi-final game strong winning by a score of 3-2.

Onto the state championship, Blue Springs South would be faced up against the Ray-Pec Panthers.

Jaguars started off strong with three runs and ended up shutting out the Panthers, while the Jags continued to stack on runs. Scoring one more in the second to put the Jags up 4-0. The Panthers held the Jags at four during the third inning. Putting up three more runs on the board to make the score 7-0 at the end of the fourth. In the top of the fifth, a three-run homerun by Tori Bradley put the Jags up 10-0. After holding the Panthers at zero in the bottom of the fifth, the mercy rule was called, which resulted in a 10-0 win for the Jaguars.

The upcoming seniors for the 2020 season have big shoes to fill. Junior Mckenna Lester talked about what her expectation are for next year.

“I feel like we now have an even bigger target on our back and now everyone expects us to be great. We have a lot of pressure, but we must trust the process and take it day by day.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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