Stags fall in playoffs as magical seasons end
Berkeley Stags softball coach Boogie Grooms has seen enough softball games over the course of his storied career to know he will win some and lose some.
In the Class AAA District VIII playoffs, it was Grooms’ and his Lady Stags’ turn to lose.
“She made a good pitch and it was just that girl’s right time and right place to hit it out of the park,” Grooms said of the three-run, two-out, two-strike homer that ended his team’s season with a 4-2 loss to St. James. “I don’t think given the pitch and the circumstances that girl ever hits a home run in that situation again, but this time she did and it’s something she will never forget as long as she lives.”
Grooms said his Lady Stags, 2013 Region 8AAA champions and number one seed going into the district playoffs, couldn’t have played a better game.
“We were in position to win,” he said. “We came back in the sixth and took the lead. Even after the home run we loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but we couldn’t push the runs across. It was a great softball game and a game that was our turn to lose.”
Philosophic at season’s end, Grooms knows it had been a special run over the last two months with the Lady Stags winning their first region championship in school history.
“These are a special bunch of young ladies who endured a lot this season and it was a true pleasure and a privilege to coach them,” he said. “A tremendous amount of credit goes to my four seniors, R.J. Reid, Ashtin Kullnat, Katie Marsch and Savannah Crane for providing the leadership and maturity for what is a very young team. This team will come back stronger next year because of these four young ladies.”
The Lady Stags finish the season with a 17-4 mark and return almost everybody in 2014.
“We’ll be back in the thick of things next year,” Grooms said. “We have both our pitchers back and they’ll just be freshmen, and while it will be tough to replace our graduating seniors, we have some players ready to step in and pick up the banner where these girls left off.”
For the players, it’s time to put away the blue and gold and pick up the travel ball banner. The first tournament for many of these girls begins May 18.