Bluestem’s 13-0 regional championship victory marks three straight years the Lions have qualified for the state tournament.
When head coach Michelle Womacks took over the program four years ago, her team shared that they wanted to change the way people thought about Bluestem softball. The Lions have definitely turned some heads with three straight regional championships.
Womack credits the recent success to the team’s work ethic every day in practice.
“They had to learn to never settle for less than their best effort at practice before they could expect to perform with that attitude in a game,” said Womacks.
“Year after year they pass on that work ethic and drive to every athlete that joins our program. Through that constant leadership, drive, and high expectations of how they go about their work at practice, that has lead to more success.”
The Lions rolled through their competition at the 2-1A regional hosted at Bluestem High School. After a 13-3 win over Yates Center in the opening round, the Lions crushed the No. 1 seed Flinthills 13-0 in five innings.
Ashtyn Jurging and Kyndall Clevenger were dominant in the circle in both games, as Jurging threw a one-hitter, and Clevenger finished with a shutout.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from those two kids,” said Womacks.
“They both threw very well to keep the opponents off the bases.”
Offensively, five Lions finished the tournament with averages above .500. Natalie Bevan led the Lions with an average of .833. Paige Fisher went 4-for-4 at the plate in the championship game.
For Flinthills, the Mustangs’ historic season came to an end. The Mustangs’ 16 wins is the most by any Flinthills team in program history. The team also broke school records for hitting percentage and on-base percentage.
After starting the season 2-4, the Mustangs rattled off 13 straight wins, which is also a new school record.
Bluestem will compete in the 2-1A state tournament at Green Sports Complex in Pratt on May 24-25. The Lions first-round opponent is still to be determined.