Monthly Archives: November 2019

Wyoming Area intercepts five passes, defeats Tamaqua for spot in state title game

The offense started the road to Hershey early Friday night. The defense made sure things never veered off course.

Wyoming Area scored on its first two possessions and the defense picked off five passes as the Warriors defeated Tamaqua 21-0 to advance to the PIAA Class 3A state championship game.

District 2 champion Wyoming Area (13-1) will play D7 champion Central Valley (13-1) at noon Saturday, Dec. 7, at Hersheypark Stadium for the championship. Central Valley defeated D6 champion Bald Eagle Area 45-0 in the other semifinal.

Not only will Wyoming Area be playing for its first state football championship, it’s the first time in school history a team in any sport advanced to a state championship game based on available PIAA records.

“It’s just incredible, historic for our program to play for a state championship,” said Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer, who was also a player and assistant coach for the Warriors. “As great as that is and as big as that is, we’ve been talking all year with this group about just playing one more together.”

The offense overcame a couple penalties in its first possession to finish off an eight-play, 82-yard drive with a 5-yard TD run by quarterback Dominic DeLuca. The score was set up with a 41-yard DeLuca to Brian Williams pass that placed the ball at the Tamaqua 8-yard line.

Running back Darren Rodney, who missed the quarterfinal win vs. Montoursville with an injury, carried five consecutive plays on the Warriors’ next possession. DeLuca ended it by dropping a pass over a defender and to Brian Williams in the left corner of the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown.

Rodney finished with 133 yards on 23 carries.

“Last week, we didn’t want anything bad to happen so I sat out,” said Rodney, who was scratched from the lineup the morning of the Montoursville game. “Going into this week I felt great. I knew I could do it.”

Wyoming Area scored just once more — on a 1-yard run by Rodney midway through the third quarter — but the way the defense was playing it was just added insurance.

D11 champion Tamaqua (12-3) came into the game with the school’s all-time leading rusher, passer and receiver. Running back Nate Boyle was unable to get the running attack going, so the Blue Raiders turned to quarterback Brayden Knoblauch.

Knoblauch was sacked just once but harassed and flushed from the pocket several times by defensive ends Derek Ambrosino and Caleb Graham. He often had to throw on the run or off balance, and the Wyoming Area secondary responded.

Defensive back Jake Williams recorded the first of his three interceptions with a minute left until halftime. His pick in the end zone stopped a Blue Raiders’ drive that moved to the Wyoming Area 12-yard line. Jake Williams grabbed his second interception on Tamaqua’s first possession of the second half after fellow defensive back Leo Haros slapped a pass away from a receiver.

“It helps a ton,” Jake Williams said of the pass rush. “For the quarterback to get forced into rushing a throw or forced into something, it’s great. It helps us down field to make plays. We wouldn’t be here without those guys up front.”

Knoblauch attempted 47 passes — the most he’s ever thrown in a game — but completed just 19 for 199 yards.

The final three Tamaqua drives ended in interceptions. Brian Williams, Jake’s older brother, nabbed Wyoming Area’s third pick of the game, again with pressure forcing a throw. DeLuca made it four interceptions just past the midway point of the fourth quarter.

Jake Williams then completed his interception hat trick as Knoblauch was chased from the pocket and floated a desperation pass to near the goal line.

Dallas also made the Class 4A championship game, marking the first time two Wyoming Valley Conference teams will play for state football titles in the same year. Berwick is 1997 was the last WVC team in a state championship.

Sneads High hosts signing party for FSU softball recruit

“The Noles may not have seen someone with her skill set on campus before.” Those words come from FSU assistant softball coach Travis Wilson. He was speaking of FSU recruit Michaela Edenfield, of Sneads High School.

He offered that observation in an FSU press release announcing her decision to play for FSU. Her high school hosted a signing party for her on Friday, Nov. 22, and a handful of her summer-ball coaches also joined with SHS softball coach Shawn Graham in praise, encouragement and talk about their experiences with the player.

And her volleyball coach, Heather Edge, was there as well. Edenfield is one of her squad members, too, and is part of the team that just brought home the Class 1A volleyball title.But as for softball, Edenfield had long ago made her mark, quite literally, with Edge in that sport. The two were strangers at the time. Edge had played college softball herself, and for a time coached that sport at another school. She was getting out of her car and heading to a softball field five years ago when a softball flew over the field fence and the outlying barrier that had been placed to protect vehicles in the rare event of a ball sailing over that. The ball landed on her vehicle. It made a little dent. But Edge was less concerned about that minor damage than finding out what powerhouse hitter had swung a bat to send the ball sailing so high and so far. She was floored to learn that it had been accomplished by an eighth-grader — it was Edenfield.

That she’d also turned into a star volleyball player, Edge said, was a testament to her willingness to strive for excellence in what was not really her “natural” sport.

Others also spoke of the work ethic that has served the player so well and which they expect to ground her success at FSU.

Some of her statistics and other facts were included in the FSU announcement press release. “Michaela Edenfield is a versatile player that can compete at multiple positions in the infield and played with the Louisville Sluggers travel ball team,” the release stated. “While at Sneads High School, Edenfield has batted .440 with 99 hits, 101 runs, 32 doubles and 28 home runs throughout her career. She participated in the 2019 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team Selection Trials, and took Sneads High School to its first State Championship game in 2019…she chose Florida State over offers from Rutgers, UAB and Virginia.”

“Michaela has off-the-charts tools across the board,” said FSU assistant coach Travis Wilson in the release. “She is a raw player that will see serious growth in this program. The Noles may not have seen someone with her skill set on campus before.”

“Michaela has deep family roots as a Seminole, and is a multi-sport athlete,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “That is rare in this day and age, as she is a tremendous volleyball player but also wants to take her game to the next level in softball. It will be a lot of fun to watch her skill set and personality grow.”

Edenfield spoke briefly at the signing ceremony, and said she was honored to be a point of pride for SHS and the community.

After the event, she stuck around for pictures with loved ones and friends, including most of her old 10U squad from summer ball of years ago. Nostalgia and love for all those and other years of softball fun had prompted Edenfield to, for the signing event, set up a line of all her jerseys from the past, and one from the future-the FSU jersey was set dead center in the mix of shirts from youth league to high school days.

Here are some scenes from the signing.

Crown worthy or not? Best and worst KC jerseys

The Kansas City Royals’ uniforms reflect the organization’s conservative character. Changes are rarely bold or garish. What are the best and worst of the club’s jerseys?

This is not a story about baseball players. It’s a story about the uniforms they wear, specifically the jerseys of the Kansas City Royals.

Indulge me, if you will, two things: not writing about players per se, and writing in the “first-person,” a perspective from which I rarely write about baseball or anything else for that matter. I prefer the distance “third person” purports to keep me from excessive opinion, although opinion is unavoidable when writing about baseball and the men who play it. Appropriate narrative of the game must necessarily blend fact and opinion.

First-person fits here because choosing the best and worst Royals’ jerseys is entirely a subjective task, based exclusively on my opinion of what makes good baseball uniforms good and bad baseball uniforms bad. There are no objective standards by which to measure the aesthetics of such things–one either likes a uniform or doesn’t.

Take, for example, the old uniforms of the San Diego Padres, whose brown and yellow design would have driven me from their telecasts to their radio broadcasts if I’d been a fan of the club; or, most recently, the odd concoctions that made up the garb of the Arizona Diamondbacks, which strike me as the most unsightly unis in the contemporary game. (Fortunately, the D-backs are abandoning them in favor of uniforms more pleasing to the eye).

This story is my assessment of the best and worst Kansas City jerseys. They haven’t really changed all that much through the years and, but for the softball-influenced double-knit, uni era and the advent of the alternate jersey, the subject of Royals jerseys could be quickly exhausted.

You may not agree with my “findings,” but I give to you my thoughts about a highly visible component of the game, one independent from statistics, analytics, or complicated metrics and measures. Have some fun with it.

I begin with a little background of my interest in baseball uniforms…

Scouts on 3 trade packages Mets could use to get Starling Marte

Most everyone agrees that Starling Marte would be a nice get for the Mets, giving them the everyday center fielder they’ve been looking for since, well, since their new manager, Carlos Beltran, was playing the position a decade ago.

But what would it take for them to acquire him in a trade with the Pirates?

The consensus, based on conversations I had with scouts, executives, and minor-league evaluators on Monday, is that Pittsburgh’s new GM, Ben Cherington, probably would have to like the idea of taking a major leaguer such as J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, or Dom Smith in return for Marte.

Otherwise, the feeling is the Mets don’t have enough depth in their minor-league system to sell the Pirates on a package of prospects without including one of their few blue-chippers they would consider untouchable.

Specifically that likely would come down to shortstop Ronny Mauricio, third baseman Brett Baty, pitcher Matthew Allan, and catcher Francisco Alvarez — all high-ceiling prospects who are also at least a couple of years away from the big leagues.

Then there’s Andres Gimenez, the 20-year old shortstop that SNY analyst Jim Duquette recently proposed as the headliner in a trade for Marte, one which would include two other prospects, pitcher Franklyn Kilome and either infielder Mark Vientos or left-handed pitcher David Peterson.

Ranked 92nd by MLBpipeline.com on its most recent Top 100 list of prospects, Gimenez is regarded as a very good glove who might only be a solid singles-type hitter in the big leagues, raising questions about his value in this slug-heavy era.

More to the point, scouts I spoke to doubt whether a Gimenez-led package would be enough for the Pirates, especially when other teams are likely to bid for Marte, with so few center fielders available via free agency or trade.

“If I’m the Pirates, I’ve got to get more of a high-impact guy,” was the way one team executive put it. “Gimenez is a nice player but he’s not a guy you’d build around.

“I’m not even sure any of their other top guys could be the centerpiece of a trade, because they’re so young. It would depend what type of rebuild Ben decides he needs. If he goes full rebuild then a big arm like Allan or a catcher with upside like Alvarez would have a lot of appeal.

“But I can’t see the Mets doing that. They have to draw the line somewhere as far as giving up prospects.”

That was a reference to the trades Brodie Van Wagenen has made since taking the job as GM a little more than a year ago, giving up significant prospect depth as well as a projected star in outfielder Jerred Kelenic.

Nevertheless the Mets are deep in shortstop prospects, while at the big-league level Amed Rosario seemed to turn a corner defensively over the second half last season, which is why they could afford to give up Gimenez as a centerpiece in a package for Marte.

Except the Pirates might not see enough value. In Double-A last season, Gimenez hit .250 with nine home runs and a less-than-impressive .695 OPS, but then he led the Arizona Fall League with a .391 average — and a .999 OPS — over 18 games in the desert.

MLBPipeline.com analyst Jim Callis saw all of Gimenez’s at-bats in Arizona and still came away not quite sure what to make of him.

“He’s a legit shortstop and he had plus-plus run times, so he’s faster than I expected,” Callis said. “But he’s a small guy and he doesn’t drive the ball a whole lot. Right now we project him in the big leagues as a .280 hitter with maybe 10 home runs, and a plus-defender.

“Is that enough these days? It’s going to be really, really interesting.”

If it’s not enough for the Pirates to trade Marte, what would it take? Here are three trades proposed by people I spoke with — two from scouts and one from an executive of an American League team, with brief explanations.(Remember, Marte would come with two years of control, at $11.5 million in 2020 and a team option at $12.5 million in 2021).
1) Scout No. 1: Marte for Francisco Alvarez, Kevin Smith, and Franklyn Kilome

“I’m trying to be fair,” the scout said. “I know the Mets aren’t giving up Allan because he’s their best arm, and I know they’re high on Alvarez, but he’s only 17 years old (just turned 18 last week), he’s a long way from the big leagues, and they want to win now.

“Smith is a lefty who showed promise at Double-A and Kilome is wild-card coming off Tommy John. The key is Alvarez: if I’m the Pirates I’m going to have other offers for Marte, so I have to get an elite prospect at a premium position.”
2) Scout No. 2: Marte for J.D. Davis and Thomas Szapucki

“Davis has five years of control and I like his bat,” the scout said, “so he works for the Pirates even if they’re rebuilding. He’s a below-average defender but I’ll gamble that he hits enough to play at third or in left. And with the market Marte will have, I want a prospect too: Szapucki is a lefty who was getting high marks before he had Tommy John surgery (in 2018).

“I’d have to think the Mets would rather give up Dom Smith than Davis, but with (Josh) Bell the Pirates don’t need a first baseman. So I’ll gamble that Marte makes my team better for two years with his offense and his center-field defense.”
3) AL exec: Marte for Dom Smith, Gimenez, and David Peterson

“From the Pirates side I’d want Allan but I probably can’t get him. I’ll take Dom Smith and put him at first base because I’m going to get creative and sell high on Josh Bell to bring back pitching that I need. And I feel like I’m getting value because I know Gimenez is going to be a big-league shortstop. Peterson is a soft-tosser without a lot of upside but he’s got a chance to be a back-end starter.

“From the Mets side I might feel like I’m giving up a lot, but I don’t have any place to play Smith. Gimenez is blocked at shortstop by Rosario and Peterson’s value has fallen since he was a first-round pick, so if I’m trying to win now I probably make this trade.”

Des Moines softball teams win $5,000 Busch Light sponsorships

As much as Iowa loves Busch beer, it’s no surprise that two Des Moines softball teams have received a $5,000 Busch sponsorship that includes billboards, beer-themed swag and a $10,000 reward for winning a league championship.

This tale of two teams features 15-year veteran Des Moines softball squad Team Stew and rookie newcomers Beveardale Elite, who both were selected on the strength of their creative video appeals to Busch as part of a contest.

Team Stew, made up of longtime friends who formally played as The Other Place, took on a new name to honor a character in their contest-winning video, a man named Stew who’s inspired by Busch Light to become a better player.

The video submission was handled by Drake University professor Chris Snider. Team Stew went on to win its league with a 10-2 record, earning them $10,000 that Snider said will be split amongst the team’s 14 members.

“I thought we had a good chance of winning,” Snider said. “I thought we had a creative video without it being too polished, which is what we were going for.”

The season is still underway for Beaverdale Elite. They won $5,000 after submitting a video spoof on vintage sitcoms like Full House.

The team, led by Cole Klever, is in its second year together. The name is an homage to a neighborhood little league team they competed with before playing varsity baseball at Des Moines Hoover.

The group of high school teammates went their separate ways for college but gravitated back to Des Moines years later.

Beaverdale Elite plans to invest the money in new equipment and tournament fees. By using the sponsorship money for tournament fees and performing well at those events, Klever said they have the potential to make money off their investment.

“It’s the beer we’ve always been drinking going back to the college days,” Klever said of Beaverdale Elite’s preference for Busch Light. “It’s always been the cheapest beer, it’s always been our first choice.”

The two softball teams received custom Busch Light-themed uniforms to promote their sponsorship. Busch Light is also creating billboards celebrating the teams in locations near their home fields.

Fall Signing Day 2019: Where are New Jersey’s best softball players going to college?

While there’s still some softball left in their scholastic careers, some in the Class of 2020 have 20/20 vision on where they’ll be playing at the collegiate level.

Listed below are New Jersey softball players who have made commitments to play in college. The top list is Division I commitments, while the the others encompasses all other divisions.

Hannah Alexander, Northern Burlington, Seton Hall
Haylei Archer, Northern Burlington, California
Megan Berg, Northern Burlington, Fairleigh-Dickinson
Nicole Bondoc, Northern Burlington, St. Joseph’s
Allie Bridgman, Hightstown, Fairfield
Kristen Brown, Old Tappan, Lafayette
Alyssa DeJianne, St. Thomas Aquinas, Iona
Bailey Enoch, Northern Burlington, Fordham
Kaylin Flukey, Absegami, Iona
Karina Gaskins, Donovan Catholic, Notre Dame
Rileigh Glynn, Immaculata, Bucknell
Victoria Grifone, Vernon, Providence
Kayla Haywood, Roselle Catholic, Iona
Kailee Howard, Lacey, Rutgers
Megan Herka, St. Thomas Aquinas, Rutgers
Kailee Howard, Lacey, Rutgers
Jayda Kearney, Donovan Catholic, Georgia
Gianna Kubu, Cedar Grove, Hartford
Margaux Lesser, Teaneck, Rhode Island
Victoria LoPinto, Hanover Park, Sacred Heart
Katie Master, Atlantic City, Central Connecticut State
Emily Orr, Hillsborough, Villanova
Gianna Palmisano, Montville, Quinnipiac
Julia Parker, St. John Vianney, Georgetown
Annabella Pisapia, Bordentown, La Salle
Lauren Punk, Bishop Eustace, La Salle
Lauren Pscolka, Freehold Township, St. Joseph’s
Brynn Reiser, Matawan, Sacred Heart
Kayla Roncin, Donovan Catholic, Boston
Kasey Sekula, Mount St. Dominic, Fairfield
Kristyn Smith, Mount St. Dominic, Manhattan
Zoey Valentino, Freehold Township, Delaware
Virginia Venizelos, Hun, Colgate
Julia Vincent, Parsippany, Mount St. Mary
Lindsey Walter, Mount Olive, Binghamton
Ryleigh White, Immaculate Heart, Texas
Ali Winters, Mount St. Dominic, North Florida
McKenzie Yurcaba, Audubon, Delaware State
Gillian Zack, St. John Vianney, Delaware

OTHERS

Kylee Amato, Holy Angels, Bentley
Natalie Ampole, Buena, Rutgers-Camden
Emma Barbera, Vineland, Cabrini
Erin Barnett, Shenandoah
Alexa Blue, Northern Burlington, TCNJ
Elyssa Bohr, Moorestown, Penn State-Abington
Kiera Boucher, Ridgewood, Carnegie Mellon
Kayla Calani, Hammonton, Thomas Jefferson
Faith Camilleri, Lodi Immaculate, Adelphi
Taylor Campagna, Kingsway, Millersville
Jules Cicala, Cedar Grove, Post
Sophia Cicchetti, Watchung Hills, Adelphi University
Gabbie Costantini, Oakcrest, Concordia College
Kayla Coughlin, Howell, Drew
Rebecca DaSilva, Lenape Valley, University of Lynchburg
Gianna DeLorenzo, Rutgers Prep, Thomas Jefferson
Kelsey Endresen, Toms River South, Georgian Court
Eliza Filus, North Hunterdon, Thomas Jefferson
Aryana Galioto, Hanover Park, Lynn University
Grace Gaskill, Steinert, William Paterson
Jenny Gordon, Iselin Kennedy, Pace
Victoria Grifone, Vernon, Providence
Alex Haley, Steinert, Susquehanna
Annabelle Hamilton, Ridge, Post
Samantha Hess, Holy Angels, Bentley
Kaitlin Houser, Ramsey, East Stroudsburg
Cayla Kalani, Hammonton, Thomas Jefferson
Rebecca Irizarry, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Fisher
Haley Lestician, Lawrence, Lock Haven
Anglela Lignelli, Lodi Immaculate, Adelpi
Nicolette Luzzi, Caldwell, Indian River State College
Abbi Markee, Millville, USciences
Julia Mayernik, Northern Burlington, TCNJ
Jalynda Mercado, Bridgewater-Raritan, Post
Delaney Misier, Steinert, Alvernia
Lauren Miskowski, West Morris, Endicott
Alli Olsen, Ridgewood, Springfield
Carli Perruso, Hillsborough, Post
Chloe Pocceschi, North Hunterdon, Caldwell
Ashlynne Scardino, Hammonton, Neumann
Madison Sisz, Northern Burlington, West Chester
Rylie Speigel, Rumson-Fair Haven, MIT
Emily Talkow, Montclair Kimberley, Washington University (St. Louis)
Lily Grace Tomasiello, Raritan, Post
Cat Thomas, Immaculate Heart, Rowan
Olivia Vizzini, Vernon, RPI
Courtney Wengryn, Hillsborough, Adelphi
Lizzie Weston, Ridgewood, Western New England
Abby Zucatti, Hun, Gettysburg

Texas Softball Player, 11, Tragically Dies After In-Game Collapse

Tragedy is hard to write about. Every time a story about a beloved Texan passing away comes up, it always feels impossible to truly commemorate them the best way I know how. When I heard about 11-year-old Presley Mitchell, who collapsed during her softball game in Denison, Texas and later passed away, I didn’t know how anyone deals with something like this.

Then, I saw the response from her family. I saw how her coach honored her. I saw the fundraisers and support her classmates drummed up. It’s in these moments that I realized how impactful a child’s life can be in such a short time.

The Texas Attitude fast-pitch softball team was competing in a tournament game at Texas Health Foundation Park. During the game, Presley collapsed on the field, where paramedics worked for nearly an hour to revive her. According to KXII Fox News 12, Mitchell was taken to a local hospital where she died.

The Grayson County Medical Examiner is investigating, but her cause of death is still unknown. She was 11 years old.

Presley’s aunt, Lori Skipper, eulogized her niece in a beautiful Facebook post.

“Today as I wake up I’m starting to grieve a bit more. I’ve stood very strong for my sister and mom. As I try to write what I’m going to speak on Thursday, the words vanish from my head. I start, then stop. Cry and feel my pain and my sisters emptiness. The feelings and emotions that come with these thoughts are beginning to trouble me. November 7 is my birthday day and now it’s a day that we lay P to rest. The darkest day ever. This has been the worst nightmare we could ever have experienced. To those that know me well, you know I’m very emotional and sensitive. Through this process I’ve been a solid warrior standing strong by my sister and family.

“My sisters tribe is unbelievable and our community is outstanding. She couldn’t have a better support group. I know after the celebration, my sister will continue to need her tribes help. I’m very worried of the aftermath and my sisters state of mind. I hope the fog lifts for her and she can see sunshine again one day. I ask everyone to continue to pray for strength and to please ease my sisters mind and heart.

“If I could take all the pain away, Amber, I would. I am so proud of you. Your one badass and I’m grateful your my sister. We have been through a lot, just wished this was not in our story. Your still the best gift mom and dad gave me. I love you beyond measure.”

— Lori Skipper, via Facebook

Coach Jasen Sloan said on social media, “She didn’t get to cross home plate that last time but once she returned to the dugout God had another plan for her. He needed another angel!”

Mayes Elementary school students wore jerseys to honor their classmate, and several fundraisers were launched in the days that followed. D-BAT Texoma and Texoma Fury Softball are holding a benefit chili dinner on November 10, and all proceeds will be given to Presley Mitchell’s family.

Also, the “Presley Mitchell Benefit” was launched in association with Landmark Bank to take donations from anyone who can help support the family. More information on those donations can be found right here.

If that wasn’t enough, an open Texas softball tournament in the Dallas area is being held by DSE Sports Events. Softball players and fans will be able to sign a white banner with messages for Presley’s family. Bracelets and t-shirts can be purchased at the event, and proceeds will be donated to the family.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Presley family during this time, but seeing the community come together like this is inspiring. It goes to show the impact that a child can have on the lives of the people around them in way too short of a time.

Jerry Snyder to retire from USC Aiken softball

University of South Carolina Aiken head softball coach Jerry Snyder has announced that the 2020 season will be his last at the helm of the program.

Snyder, who will coach his 34th year in 2020, has guided the program to 778 wins throughout his career. During his tenure, Snyder has coached the team to four NCAA Southeast Region appearances, which occurred in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016.

Currently, two student-athletes have had their jerseys honored under Snyder, including three-time All-American Jessica Strickland and multi-sport standout Jami Cornwell.

Snyder has coached a pair of All-Americans and six student-athletes who have earned all-region honors (11 times).

Snyder has coached 35 all-conference honorees, one PBC Player of the Year, three PBC Freshman of the Year and 24 PBC all-Tournament Team selections.

Off the field, his student-athletes have earned PBC all-academic team honors 23 times. Twice he has had students named NFCA Scholar Athletes.

Gordon Lee Lady Trojans win ninth state softball title in 10 years

No other high school softball team in Georgia has more state titles in the past decade than Gordon Lee.

Emma Langston hit a hard grounder down the third-base line to end the GHSA Class A public school championship final in six innings, 9-1 over area rival Trion. A program led by five seniors set a school record with its fifth straight state championship and 10th going back to 2004.

“I could not have pictured this state championship any better way,” senior catcher Kirbie Bradley said after her team ended the game with five runs in their final at-bat, which started at Columbus. “It’s really special to be the first to do it on our own field, too. I am blessed to be a part of such a great program. I wouldn’t trade these memories for anything.”

Senior Macie Pearson raised the championship trophy high in the air with her teammates in front of a packed home crowd that got to witness the final flurry after rain stopped the game Saturday with the Lady Trojans batting with one out and a 6-1 lead in the sixth. The Chickamauga portion included two runs on wild pitches, two intentional walks and Langston’s RBI hit for the eight-run margin.

Gordon Lee (33-1) lost only to Class AAA champion Ringgold, while its senior class finished with a record of 129-4.

Maddie Clark and Allie Farrow each drove in seven runs in the four-game state-tournament sweep, and there was no hotter hitter in the playoffs than leadoff roadrunner Addison Sturdivant. The junior hit .640 (16-of-25) this postseason with an on-base percentage of .710.

“With this program’s legacy, you want to live up to it,” said Sturdivant, who led the team with a .539 batting average (55-of-102), 30 stolen bases and 46 runs scored. “Everybody wants to beat us. There is a huge target on our back and everybody is out for blood, but we just keep on winning. We wanted this so bad.”

Over nine postseason games the pitching duo of Langston and Emma Minghini was lights out with a combined earned run average of 0.29 as they allowed just two earned runs in 48 innings.

Minghini, a junior, finished the year 16-1 overall with a 0.54 ERA and 173 strikeouts in 103 1/3 innings.

The only year this decade the Lady Trojans didn’t win it all was 2014.

“We have had some great athletes and pitchers come through the program,” coach Dana Mull said. “They have built something special. Each senior group takes it upon themselves to continue that tradition. Now that we have five we definitely are going to shoot for six.”

Normally celebrating in Columbus, fans poured on the softball field and then traveled to the home football game that also was postponed to Monday due to rain.

Mother Nature provided a grand finish for the state’s most decorated softball program, which had a team batting average of .433 and an ERA of 0.63.

Having played together since the age of 6, seniors Anna Logan, Regan Thompson, Clark, Bradley and Pearson ended their high school careers the way they began.

“We are all proud to represent the name on the front of our jerseys,” Bradley said. “I have no doubt in my mind these girls will keep winning state championships. There is great talent here still to keep the dynasty rolling.”