The Lady Highlander varsity softball team more than ready for State Tournament
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Coming up short in last year’s state tournament has given the Lady Highlander varsity softball team an even deeper hunger for a state title as they compete in Austin for the second year in a row.
Abby Langkamp, senior and pitcher for the Lady Highlanders, said last year was a milestone for the team because during her freshman and sophomore years, they came up one game short from going to state. She said that although the outcome wasn’t what they wanted, it pushed them and made them hungrier to win it all.
“Losing last year in the championship definitely made us realize that we can do it,” Langkamp said. “We were that close, and if we’re that close, that means that we can get there and do it again and actually push through and win it this year.”
The road to state this year has not been easy for the girls. Kaitlyn Stavinoha, senior third baseman, said with the addition of Kingwood and Atascocita to the district, as well as Oak Ridge’s winning streak this year, the Lady Highlanders faced some tough battles.
“This year we’ve had some bumps in the road. We’ve had to really fight for everything this year,” Stavinoha said. “Our district was a lot harder this year and we just clawed through it. It seems like we’ve overcome a lot of adversity this year and I think that’s made us stronger and I think it’s going to help us along the way.”
Still in their Highlander uniforms after graduating, the seniors on the team said there is a bitter-sweet feeling about their last season coming to a close. Shelby Dublin, senior first basemen, who signed with Northwestern State University, said she will never forget competing for a state title her senior year, and she will treasure everything she’s learned from this team.
“I’ve played with some of these girls since I was eight, and the talent and the caliber of this team has prepared me so much because everyday they’re pushing me and nothing is ever good enough for them,” Dublin said. “Not in a bad way, but they know that I can do so much better. They’re always striving me to be the best person I can be. They’re always pushing me. They’ve helped me so much become the person I am today.”
The Lady Highlanders will play in the semi-finals on Friday at 3:00 PM vs Katy at McCombsField at the University of Texas. If they win, they will play the winner of the San Benito vs Lewisville game in the Championship on Saturday at 4:00 PM.