Conference championships are becoming a tradition for West Lincoln Middle School softball.
The Chiefs took the Tri-County Conference championship for the second year in a row with a 10-6 win over Crest Middle School on Thursday. The team finished the season with an 11-2 overall record after opening the season with a 5-0 run. Two losses in a row forced some roster adjustments, with eighth grader Kylee Leonhardt moving from catcher to starting pitcher.
“We had a few bumps in the road,” head coach Tyler Sain said. “We changed a few things after the two losses and then we started clicking.”
Leonhardt easily made the transition from behind the plate to the mound, helping the Chiefs go 6-0 in their last six games.
“I was nervous at first because I hadn’t pitched in a while but it wound up being fun,” she said.
The Chiefs had an explosive offense that scored 178 runs in 13 games, nearly 14 runs per game. Ten players had a batting average over .300, with Leonhardt leading the pack with a .647 average. Leonhardt had 22 RBIs and five home runs.
“It makes you feel a lot better in the dugout,” Sain said, “when you can go out and score like that every game.”
The Chiefs will send three of the members of this year’s team to high school next year, meaning the future appears bright.
“I think we’ve got something good going with the group of girls we’ve had the last two years,” Sain said. “We had seven seventh graders that played every day, so I’m pretty confident about next year also.”