Remembering WHS 2010 State Softball Championship

By: 
Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
It doesn’t seem that long ago but in 2010  on October 25, the Warsaw girls softball team  (25-4 ) won the Class 2A state softball championship.The team was well balanced as six girls went on to play college ball but the talk of the town was the little blond headed pitcher, Kelli Wenberg now Kelli Eierman, who struck out batter after batter. 
She threw a ‘rise ball; and a ‘screw ball.’  She pitched some 18 shutouts. Head Coach Steve Larson said, "People talked about a state title at the start of the season. As the season wore on, I got less nervous. We felt pretty good whenever we had a one run lead. We felt like Kelli and our defense could do the rest.” 
The championship game started in Springfield but after almost four innings (0-0) the rains came and it was moved to Columbia on Monday.
Warsaw would go on to beat Palmyra 4-0 for Warsaw’s first ever state championship in softball. They beat Kelly 9-1 in the Semi-Final.
Kelli struck out 14, 13 swinging in the championship game and gave up a single in the first and  double in the seventh. She struck out the last two batters swinging for the sweet victory.
When asked about their goals, pressure, thinking they would win and memorable games, Keli remembers, "I didn’t expect it, but I knew we had a chance. 
I’ll never forget when Kristina (Strader) drove the ball to the fence to score our first run in the state game. 
My favorite memories from softball weren’t always had on the softball field. We had a sleep over at the field before our first practice, we would always play truth or dare on the bus. We always made sure we were having fun! 
The conference championship and the state game are both hard to beat. It was our first time winning both.
 No. Anytime I would put pressure on myself my teammates would quickly remind me that they had my back. 
Yes, the momentum of the game went in our favor as soon as Kristina drove in the first run. After Mackenzie Wallace hit her home run there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that we would win. (Wallace hit a ball completely out the park that landed in the golf course across the street in the sixth inning.  However, she missed home plate and was called out. Kee scored. However, Wallace’s run was one that they didn’t need.)
Megan Palmer commented on the goals for the team and her many memories, "Our goal was certainly to win state. Once we were moved from Class 3 to Class 2, I knew our chances were legitimate to make a run for it. But not only did I think we had a chance, it was an expectation for us to make it to the State Championship. We won our district the three years prior and made it to quarter finals in the 2009 season. In my opinion, we had the best 2A pitcher in the state and if we could put runs up she could keep us in any game. 
 The greatest memory for me was seeing the town come out and support us during our district, sectionals, and quarter finals games at our home field. We all had a lot of pride in our school and town which drove us to want to win. Coach Larson got out and worked to get us those crucial games at home and the support from the town helped us get those wins.
 Of course winning the State Championship that season was the most memorable game. But winning our first Tri-County Conference championship that year was special also. We lost to Blair Oaks in 2007, 2008, and 2009 so beating them was another highlight of the season. Also the fact that both our Conference and State Championship games were rained out and we had to resume on another day is pretty memorable.”
Cameron Kee also spoke of her memories. "There are so many amazing memories that I have from this once in a life-time experience, but one of my favorites was when we left school for Springfield. Not only did the school give us all their support, but the whole community did! All the students and staff lined the road as we drove out of school. The elementary  schools even gave us all their support with handmade signs and high fives! The local police and fire department gave us an escort out if town! The town was full of love and support and that is something that I will never ever forget!" 
To be continued...
P.S. This is such a wonderful story with so many memories that we will continue on our trail down memory lane next week. While we have plenty to write about already with much more from Coach Larson, if any players or coaches not mentioned above wish to comment then please e-mail me at Johniewarrior@gmail.com.

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