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Future appears bright for North Softball program

The North Lincoln Lady Knights had quite a run in 2004 going 20-8 and finishing third in the state.
“It was a great season and I was glad I was on the team. I’m really excited we made it to the final four and that we got third,” sophomore pitcher Nicole Baxter said who finished with over 15 wins on the year.
Freshman slugger Mekenzie Harkey was thrilled with what her and her teammates accomplished.
“I’m proud of the team— first year team and we came this far. We had a really good time, came together as a team and it showed on the field,” she said.
Fellow freshman Jenna Torbert, who led the Lady Knights at the plate, took the overall experience of the season with her.
“We had a great season. We gained more than third place in the state, we’ve gained relationships that will never be forgotten and had a lot of fun in the process,” she said.
Head coach Rick Brown was ecstatic with their season.
“It was far more than what I could have expected from a first year team,” he said.
“We would’ve liked to have placed higher, but I’m very pleased as a coach and as a team with where we finished,” he said.
Freshman outfielder and pitcher April Wilson stated a sentiment that seemed to be a common theme among the Lady Knight players.
“It was a great season— we had a lot of firsts. The girls and the coaches are awesome! I can’t wait ‘til next year,” she said.
“Coming this far in the state, we’re working together and it shows the other teams what’s in store for next year,” Torbert added.
“Next year we’ll go even further,” Harkey said.
Their statements could sound over-confident to some people, but with only three juniors on this year’s roster and no seniors the sky looks to be the limit.
Baxter, who’s a sophomore credited one of her teammates for putting everything in perspective for her.
“That’s good because I’m only a sophomore like Lindsey (Smith) said and I’m gonna be here for two more years and I’m already striking you out,” she said.
Brown felt the special season wouldn’t have been possible without a particular aide.
“Nothing would have gotten done without Melanie (Painter) working behind the scenes. This is definitely one of the best sets of parents and fans I’ve ever had to support a team,” he said.
Baxter deemed it appropriate to make a ‘thank you’ of her own.
“I’d like to thank coach Brown for being a great coach. We wouldn’t be here without him,” she said.
The third place finish is the best outcome for any North Lincoln High athletic program.by John Mark Brooks

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