Building The Foundation

Sophomore infielder Brielle Korleski (center) slings a grounder over to incoming freshman Keira Hammen (left), while sophomore outfielder Kortney Riley (right) looks on during the Titans’ Class 2A-Region 5 semifinal matchup against East Sac County this past Friday at The Titan Diamond at the SCC Summer Sports Complex in Lytton. [Tyler Anderson/The Graphic-Advocate]

Incoming freshman Keira Hammen belts a three-run homer during the bottom of the fifth inning of July 10’s Class 2A-Region 5 quarterfinal matchup between the Titans and Manson-Northwest Webster at The Titan Diamond. [Tyler Anderson/The Graphic-Advocate]

When the South Central Calhoun softball team’s rally fell short at the hands of East Sac County in a Class 2A-Region 5 semifinal matchup this past Friday evening at The Titan Diamond at the SCC Summer Sports Complex in Lytton, head coach John Kennedy and assistant coach Kari Musselman gathered up the team.

They did not speak in the usual tone concerning the ending of a season. To them, nobody had expected the Titans to make it this far.

Instead, they preached about the miracle season being merely the beginning of something special at South Central Calhoun and its softball program. They spoke about the growing crowds and optimism that now flows through the once downtrodden and forgotten team.

Kennedy and Musselman also touched on the fact that while they were losing departing senior shortstop Maddie Jones and senior designated hitter Payton Steig, 11 players will return for the purple, black and white in the summer of 2020.

Lastly, they thanked Jones for her major contributions to the program. Even with the bittersweet ending, hope continues to spring eternal for the Titans.

“The players bought in, that’s the thing,” Kennedy said, following the game. “They bought in and they worked hard. We tried to get them in situations where they can excel, and they did it. I’m proud of them.”

Kennedy also remarked about how bright the future is for his team.

“It’s very bright,” Kennedy said. “We have a hurler on the mound who is going to get stronger and better. Our defense struggled against East Sac County, but I know it’s there and it’s going to come. We’ll be all right, and I’m excited for the future. We just have to have a good offseason and get some work in. We want to keep climbing and keep to our slogan of GBT, ‘get better today.’”

For the full story, see this week's edition of The Graphic-Advocate. Subscribe by calling 1-800-558-1244 extension 122, or email Deb at circulation@midamericapub.com.