• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS athletes part of National Softball Championship

Woodford County High School softball players Lindsay Anderson, Caitlin Karo, Paige Hampton and Bethany Todd were four of the 13 athletes that made up the Louisville Stunners softball team that won the elite Triple Crown National Softball Championship, which was held Monday through Friday, July 11 to 15, at Randall Park in New York City, N.Y. The Stunners finished the week with an undefeated 8-0 record, and then beat the Firecrackers of Southern California, 6-3, to win the title. “Winning the National Championship was an unreal experience. Almost impossible to describe,” said Stunners head coach Les Anderson. “This team started in 2014. The Stunners were well known in Kentucky, but not regionally or nationally at all. This team is talented, but in the softball world, the name on the front of the jersey often means more than the quality of the player in the jersey. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. It is very hard for teams to break through. This group of parents and players dedicated themselves to breaking into the national scene. They finished fifth nationally as 14U, in the top 20 last year, and won a National Championship this year. Quite an accomplishment really.” Overall, the Stunners lost only one game the entire season and finished with a 31-1 record. The Stunners got into the national tournament by invitation, according to Anderson. “The Triple Crown USA Nationals is an invitational-only tournament. Teams apply and are chosen by college coaches. This tournament (included) teams from all across the United States and we played teams from New York, Georgia, California, Louisiana and Texas. … The tournament is the second-highest rated tournament in softball behind the PGF (Premier Girls Fastpitch) Nationals, which is held in Southern California. … The highlight of the tournament was definitely the championship game. It was broadcast live on ESPN3.” There were 22 teams from across the United States in the five-day tournament. The Stunners opened play on Monday, July 11, with a 7-0 win over Team Long Island. They followed that up with a 5-0 shutout over the Firecrackers-DFW (Bushey) to end their first day of play. Following an off-day on Tuesday, the team resumed play on Wednesday, July 13, with three games on its schedule. The Stunners opened the day with a 3-2 win over Team Xtreme. Then in their next game, they scored an impressive 12-0 shutout over the Louisiana Voodoo. The team then closed out its day with a 5-2 win over the Firecrackers-DFW (Greenwell). The Stunners enjoyed a second day off on Thursday, then resumed play on Friday, July 14, with their three final games of the tournament. The team opened the day with a close, 2-1, win over Team Georgia, and then followed that with a 6-1 win over Team Long Island to advance to the championship game of the tournament. In that game, the Stunners defeated the Firecrackers of Southern California 6-3 to win the title and bring the championship trophy home to Kentucky. For more information on the tournament, visit www.triplecrownsports.com. In addition, a replay of the Stunners championship game can be viewed online on ESPN3. Go to softball, replay, and chose the Louisville Stunners 99 Firecracker Lutterloh game.

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