In 2018, the Bluefield (Va.) Senior League Softball team slugged their way to a state title and the Southeast Regional championship. This summer, they’re back with a purpose.
“We got something to prove, you know,” said head coach Scott Thompson. “I want to prove that we are still the best. I still like that underdog feeling.”
They may not be underdogs heading into this year’s state tournament in Woodstock. But, all those hours spent practicing together have created something special.
“I think that we are a lot like sisters,” said second baseman Hannah Hass. “We’re just really close, and we’re getting closer every year. It’s just a sister family bond.”
But, the Senior League girls won’t be the only group chasing a championship this weekend. The Major League squad, made up of 10-12 year-olds, will play for a state tile in Coeburn.
“This year having two teams qualify and go into state, it just says something about our program and what we’re doing here,” said Major League head coach Tom Wimmer.
The Major League girls dominated all four of their district opponents, winning by the mercy rule. They’ve worked hard since November for the opportunity ahead, and seeing the success of the Senior League team has given them the extra boost they need.
“It definitely really makes us want to fill their shoes, in a sense,” said catcher Lilly Gray.
“That’s really what’s got these girls motivated to play ball,” added Wimmer. “Watching these older girls last year, the Senior girls, go through district and then go through state and then runner up in region. This really set a stance for our younger group to come up to.”
Both teams will begin state tournament play on Friday, July 12.