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Diamond softball captures Class 2 state title after rallying past Kennett

Tigers win second championship in three seasons

It takes a team with heart to win a state championship, and the Diamond Wildcats softball team proved that notion once again.

“It feels amazing,” Diamond softball coach Kelsey Parrish said. “I am just absolutely so proud of my girls, their hard work and everything they’ve put into this season to get here.” 

Showing relentlessness all postseason long, Diamond trailed late and rallied back to beat Mount Vernon in the district title game, Willow Springs in the state semifinals and once again against Kennett in the Class 2 title game.

The Indians held a 5-3 lead following a four-run fourth inning, sitting in the driver’s seat during the middle innings.

Diamond refused to quit, tying the game at 5-5 in the top of the seventh inning on back to back run-scoring singles from Lauren Turner and Taelyn Reeder to push the game into extras.

The Wildcats didn’t wait long to put the game away, as Caitlyn Suhrie came up with a clutch two-out double to left field to plate the go-ahead run. An error on the play allowed two more runs to score to give Diamond a permanent three-run advantage.

Suhrie, working in relief, finished off the win with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth, including a pair of strikeouts, to seal the state championship victory.

“These girls are going to play out the game until the final inning, and give 100 percent until then,” Parrish said of her team’s zero-quit mentality. “The last couple of games, that’s proved to work in their favor.”

The Wildcats graduate a pair of seniors whose absence will certainly be felt in the future—Suhrie and Grace Frazier. 

“Those two girls are super special,” Parrish said of her seniors. “Both of them had an outstanding (state title game) and contributed in big ways and they’ve contributed all season. They are both very selfless and exceptional leaders. I think their success, having 114-career wins really shows.”

Diamond ends the season with a 38-1 record—with the single loss coming to Frontenac, Kansas—and captured its second state title in three seasons. One thing is certain, the state of the program is in good shape. 

“I am ecstatic,” Parrish said. “I can’t take any of the credit. It’s all the girls. They’re just buying in and have the same philosophies and goals that I have.”

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