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Pontiac softball makes history

(Players celebrate in Peoria Saturday after winning the 3A state championship)

“They win it all.”

“Indians are state champions!”

Those were the words of Mark Myre and Jake Green who called live play-by-play of Pontiac’s historic state softball win Saturday over Antioch at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria.

This was the first state championship for a girls team at Pontiac.

Pontiac head coach Nicole Hayner referred to her team as “selfless.”

“They’ve lived with extremely high expectations,” Hayner told those attending a welcome home ceremony at PTHS Saturday. “They also have made sacrifices all season on the field and in life.”

Hayner admits the season wasn’t always easy for anyone involved with the program due to extremely busy practice schedules and the need for some to take off work or juggle family time.

“It takes work and these girls did it.”

This year’s Indians finish the year 31-7 after securing the 3A state championship in Peoria by a score of 6-0. It was a magical run for the players, coaching staff and fans alike. The five seniors finish with a record of 96 wins, 34 losses and one tie.

The team adds several championships to the program after winning the Washington Classic, Illini Prairie Conference, Regionals, Sectionals, Super-Sectional and now State.

“I may be biased by saying we have the best coaching staff in the state,” adds Hayner.

Four Pontiac players were named to the all-conference team this year: Elena Krause – first team unanimous pitcher, Maddie Gourley – first team unanimous outfield, Bailey Masching – first team infield and Kendall Pitchford – second team infield.

Three all-state members were recognized by the Illinois Coaches Association for being top softball athletes in the state: Bailey Masching – first team all-state, Maddie Gourley – first team all-state and Elena Krause – first team all-state.

“Pontiac softball is not done here,” said Coach Hayner. “They’ve now set the expectations higher for future programs.”

Prior to Saturday afternoon’s welcome home event on the PTHS softball field, the Pontiac Fire Department provided an escort for the team.

The special weekend for the Indians started Friday when they took down Fenwick 10-0 in five innings.

Eye On Central Illinois was happy to bring live play-by-play coverage of the game to listeners via the Casson Media High School Sports Network. Thanks to our special post-season broadcast sponsors: Bauman Seed, Driscoll Motors and Bank of Pontiac.

(The state champion PTHS softball team and coaches shown Saturday afternoon at the high school)

(Pontiac players celebrate after winning the state championship in Peoria Saturday)


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