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Valley Center baseball and softball both qualify for 5A state tournaments

Valley Center is one of four teams in the area in which both the baseball and softball teams qualified for State.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 8:59 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Falling in the first round of the state tournament on a walk-off last year, Valley Center softball only graduated one senior. So a 20-2 record was not a surprise for the Hornets.

Valley Center softball coach Corey Jones said, “So we knew we were kind of right there and we got off to a 2-2 start, we lost to two teams that are in the state tournament and once we got everybody to their right spots, we haven’t looked back.”

“Last year obviously didn’t end how we wanted it to, no one wants their season to end like that,” said VCHS junior short stop Lucy Hoper. “It lit a fire under us and then at the beginning of the season it was rocky and then that also was like, we have to turn a switch.”

The Lady Hornets get to share the state tournament excitement this year with the Valley Center baseball team. They pulled out their first 16-win season in almost two decades, facing off against Eisenhower in the first round.

“A combination of everything. We don’t allow very many errors, we hit the ball pretty good this year. So, that’s how you win,” said VCHS senior pitcher and second baseman Brett Turner.

When talking about preparing for Eisenhower, Valley Center baseball coach Matt Robertson said, “We’ll fine tune some things here in the next few days but we just go out and control the things we can control and leave it out there on the field and see what happens.”

“They’ve got Tyner, he’s got some velo on him,” laughed senior pitcher and first baseman Alex Gillig. “So, we’re trying to get ready for that so I don’t know. It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be a good game.”

The Hornets say there’s a sense of pride watching their fellow students succeed collectively.

Softball pitcher and outfielder, junior Tori Turner said, “With our baseball team making state, it just gets us all really excited because that’s really big for us and our track team, everything. It just gets us really excited.”

“All of our softball girls are so proud of them. This is probably the best they’ve been as of recent and last year; they were at our regional in the rain, cheering for us,” said pitcher and first baseman Junior Sykora Smith.

“A lot of these kids have grown up playing summer ball together, softball and baseball, they do a lot of things together, so that bond starts way before high school,” said Robertson.

Jones said, “We’re a pretty close group and we root for each other and hopefully we’ll get a chance to watch each other on Thursday.”

“Also our track team getting runner-up in regionals, that’s awesome. Having a good spring season for every single sport,” said Gillig.

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