Hays and TMP are headed to state
As the Hays Indians softball team celebrated their 14-11 regional final victory over McPherson, fans slowly trickled out of the Bickle-Schmidt sports complex. A few miles away, Thomas More Prep-Marian fans began their celebrations for the Monarchs who had just cruised to an 11-1 win over Heights.
Safe to say it was a good night in Hays.
The Monarchs started the day with a semifinal game against Scott City and it was clear TMP wasn't messing around. The Monarchs jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first inning and never looked back, cruising to a 12-3 win.
Hays had a similar semifinal game against Buhler (0-20) en-route to a 11-3 victory.
In the regional final against McPherson, the Bullpups jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the first inning. Loaded with senior talent, the Indians did not give up.
"We're down but we can't get down," Hays senior Kylie Brown said. "Their dugout is loud and we just gotta come in and play our game and not let them get to us and be just as loud and just bring our bats and show them what Hays high can do."
They did just that, putting together a crucial third inning that cut the Bullups lead to 6-5. They were just getting started.
Hays smashed through the fourth inning with home runs that pushed the Indians lead to 13-9 after a huge two-run deep shot from Shannon Schumacher.
Leading 14-11 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Hays Jaysa Wichers struck out the batter and the Indians clinched a spot in the state tournament.
"It was one of the best feelings and then once it happened everyone's gloves came up and it was even more a realization and it was one of the greatest feelings," said Hays senior Albany Schaffer.