Softball continues to dominate, push for another state title


Emmalee Reed

Casey Shell, sophomore, on deck.

Max Stoneking, Co-Sports Editor

Accept the challenge.

That is the theme this season for the softball team. Most of the roster this year is identical to last year’s, thus many of the players experienced last season’s state championship success. Now, the goal is to transfer the momentum to this season and “accept the challenge” whether it is during practice or at a game.

“We picked [accept the challenge] because we feel like there is an X on our back; everyone is going to want to play us now. Another goal in this accept-the-challenge thing is to stay driven,” Mike Allen, head coach, said.

“Accept the challenge” has evolved into its own Twitter hashtag that the team’s Twitter account uses. The theme affects every part of the softball team.

They are the team to beat. Every team wants a shot to beat the defending state champion; therefore, staying on top of their game is of utmost importance to Allen and the players.

“A lot of teams want to beat us, so we just have to stay really focused at practice,” Abby Weber, senior, said.

Carrying over success from a state championship is no easy task for any team; however, the softball team has 11 seniors that were part of last year’s state championship. The team chemistry has already been established, and that is imperative in winning games.

“Because we already have chemistry, we can focus on the games and improving skills,” Weber said.

Allen agrees that chemistry is already there, but it is something that is constantly developing.

In order to carry over the success from last season, the staying-driven component of the “accept the challenge” theme is crucial.

“We know what it was like when we were going after the team to beat. That has kind of been another goal: can we still stay hungry,” Allen said.

With plenty of outside distractions at this time of the year, such as graduation for the 11 seniors, focus is important. A goal that Allen has stressed is to make sure quality work is being done on a day-to-day level.

“The main goal is returning to the state championship, but we also want ot leave a team that next year’s girls can be proud of,” Weber said.

Focus has not been too much of an issue as the team has dominated opponents by almost double digits in every game so far this season. Some of those wins have included a 9-0 shutout against Shawnee Mission Northwest and a 15-0 shutout against Shawnee Mission West. Kala Holder, senior, hit a home run against SMW and Maryssa Rollin and Lexie Storrer, seniors dominated on the mound in both games, allowing no runs. Hitting and pitching are both strong suits for the team.

A second consecutive state title is ultimately what the team wants, and they have their plan to get there by accepting the challenge.