Girls Softball is Headed to State


By Riley Phillips

After having a semi-difficult regular season, the girls took on Sumner Academy and Spring Hill High School at Spring Hill on Monday for their regional games. The girls defeated both teams with score of 12-0 and 6-1, making the Lions Regional Champions. These wins put the Lady Lions in the 5a State Tournament, which the softball program has not seen in 10 years.

The Lions pitching staff, lead by Junior Caroline Crawford for the first game and Senior Bradi Basler for the second game, was on fire. “It felt great to lead my team into the second game with a win. The entire day leading up to it, I could feel that something special was going to happen that night. That ‘good vibe’ was present throughout the whole game. After we got the first win under our belt everyone was bought into the fact that we have a shot at State,” said Crawford. Their defense was outstanding as well. With a diving play made by Junior Riley Phillips, multiple great catches by Junior Shannon Jessup, lights out fielding by Freshman Brooke Gilfert, and many other players contributed as well. “It was a whole team effort. Everyone did something in both games that helped us get the wins to go to state,” said Phillips.

The girls have around a week to practice and prepare for state, weather permitting. “The preparation for State started at the beginning of the season. State was a goal for these girls and we have made sure to prepare them for post season games from day one. We already have the skills and the hard work to finish on top. Over the next week we will dedicate some practice time to mental toughness. As long as we are mentally strong, we can accomplish anything with this team. The heart and fire in these girls will accomplish any goal, as they have already proven,” said Coach Rachel Milnark. Milnark was on the 2009 team that went to state and took third, making this an even bigger deal.

The Lady Lions are hoping to take home the State Championship for not only themselves but for the school as well. The State Tournament is held on May 23-24 in Maize, Kansas. The schedule has not yet been released yet.