ACP Softball Reaches New Heights, Falls Short at State Tournament

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Last Saturday afternoon, ACP’s Lady Knights softball team took part in the 2018 AIA State Softball Championship Tournament, facing the Tigers of Kingman Academy in the 1st round. By virtue of winning their region for the first time in ACP history, the Knights earned the #9 seed in the tournament and home-field advantage against the Tigers. This was set to be a great match-up between the Tigers, who had finished second in their region with a record of 22-7, and 9-1 in regional play, against the Knights who won their region with a 13-3 record, including 10-1 in regional play.

Not the Knights’ Day

The Tigers proved from the start who was going to be the better team that day, scoring twice in the first inning without the ball leaving the infield to take a quick 2-0 lead.  The Knights would respond quickly, scoring only three batters in to cut the deficit to 2-1. Unfortunately, that was about the only offense the Knights could muster up, as baserunning errors and solid pitching by the Tigers kept the Knights off the scoreboard the rest of the game. Defensively, the Knights struggled, committing four errors that allowed the red-hot Tigers offense to continue to score and put the game away early. Simply put, this wasn’t the Knights’ day, as they struggled all the way around and fell short of that elusive win in the State Tournament.

What did they accomplish this season?

Despite a quick exit in the State Tournament, the ACP Knights softball program reached new heights this season. In total, the Knights compiled a 13-3 record, 10-1 in regional play, clinching the first region championship in ACP softball history. They also reached the highest ranking ever in school history, finishing top 10 in the state for the first time in school history. While softball is a team game, plenty of individuals received recognition for their hard work this season. Coach Saadi won the 2A Metro South Region Coach of the Year award. Taryn Foster was named the region’s Player of the Year, and senior Rachel Kokernak was recognized as the region’s Defensive Player of the Year. The region 1st and 2nd teams were filled with Knights as well, as Taryn Foster, Rachel Kokernak, Talia Owen, Jessica Tells, and Lauren Kuechler took home 1st team honors. Kyleigh Mantell and Amber Butler made the region’s 2nd team with senior Hope O’Brien receiving Honorable Mention.  These accomplishments would not have been possible without strong teamwork and team play, as well as wonderful coaches to lead the way. This is only the beginning for the ACP Knights softball program which continues to improve year-to-year. This may be hard to believe for a team which won their region and made an appearance in the state tournament, but there is plenty of young talent on this team to keep up their winning ways and take ACP’s softball program to the next level. The future is bright for ACP softball!

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