LadyKats fight to the finish

Softball team competes for first place in district against Oak Ridge


BATTING IN. Freshman Kynlei Chapman hits the ball to try and get on base.

The LadyKats softball team played against Oak Ridge on Friday, April 16. Both teams were tied for first in the district and with a tough game, the LadyKats took second with a score of 8-10. 

This is the first year the team has played in a 6-A District which typically relates to tougher and more experienced competition.

“As a program, we have played in big games throughout the years, this game was special because we are at the highest level of softball in the state and had the opportunity to be on top in our district,” head softball coach Lyndsey Lipscomb said. 

THROWING THE STRIKE. Freshman Kynlei Chapman pitches a ball in an attempt to make the opponent strikeout.

Preparing for any game, let alone a big one like against Oak Ridge, takes preparation from players. They have ways to prepare as a group as well as individuals before games. 

“Before the game we always get in our circle and pray to God before the game, then we call out the line-up and clap after everyone’s name is called,” sophomore Hannah Hartman said. “For me preparing is more like relieving in terms of how I calm myself down and tell myself that I got this and I just need to play my best game.”

Outdoor sports can pose complications to gameplay. It was raining nearly the whole time just hard enough to cause issues, but not enough for a rain delay. 

“I would say the weather affected the game because it made our pitchers work extra hard because the ball was wet,” sophomore Lindsey Hues said. “It made us stay focused on making the plays because the ball is harder to handle when it is wet.” 

POT FLY. Hannah Hartman catches the ball and gives Oak Ridge another out in the inning.

Despite the weather complications, the team was still able to be effective in their defensive play. 

“My favorite play of the game was when I caught that foul ball in I think the 3rd inning, it was moving in the air so much and I was able to snag it at the last moment,” sophomore Hannah Hartman said. “The weather caused a lot of concerns and made the outfield really wet so when we threw the ball we had to have a tighter grip to make outs.” 

The game was neck and neck, so those in the stands and the dugout attempted to keep up the team’s morale. 

“We uplifted out teammates,” sophomore Lainey Niederhofer said. “My favorite thing was how everyone was loud, cheering, and the football team brought a lot of support with them.”

LOUD AND PROUD. Juniors Lindsey Pipes, Brenan Mansker and Katherine Lee cheer on the LadyKats through the weather complications. (photo or infographic by Heather Jackson)

Those in the stands also had to deal with the challenging weather conditions but were still able to find enjoyment during the monumental moments of the game. 

“My favorite part about the game was when all of the players jumped together and hugged each other after scoring like three runs,” junior Lindsey Pipes said. “The weather made it hard to enjoy, but the team’s energy made it completely bearable.”

The team had to work in order to make the game neck and neck due to the opponent gaining five runs in the first game, but they were able to stay in it and fight for what they wanted.  

“At the end of the day we fought long and hard,” Lipscomb said. “We got behind early, but we fought back every inning. We were consistent with our bats, we just fell short. I thought both teams did well and it was exciting to have our school and community there to support the kids.”