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Villa Madonna wins first region championship in softball with mostly underclassmen in the lineup

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Watching the Villa Madonna softball players celebrate after winning their first 9th Region All “A” Classic championship last Thursday was a special moment for coach Dave Meier. The fact that his youngest daughter, Camdyn, is a member of the team made it even better.

Villa Madonna defeated Beechwood, 7-2, in the championship game to earn a berth in the All “A” Classic small-school state tournament that’s scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Jack Fisher Park in Owensboro.

Villa Madonna softball players and coaches celebrate after winning the 9th Region All “A” Classic championship game.

Winning a region title is something that eluded the Vikings in Meier’s first seven seasons as coach when his other two daughters, Alexa and Brooke, played in the program.

“With Alexa and Brooke we came so close so many times,” Meier said. “To finally break through with Camdyn and this team is the most rewarding experience as a coach because of all the obstacles they’ve been asked to overcome.”

Last season was cancelled due to the pandemic and the Vikings started this season with just 11 players on the roster.

The roster includes two seniors, four juniors, one sophomore, one freshman and three junior high students. But the young team opened the season with wins in 9th Region All “A” Classic games against Holy Cross, 11-10, Newport Central Catholic, 5-2, and Beechwood, 7-2.

In those three games, Camdyn went 8-for-11 at the plate with nine RBI. The junior’s biggest hit came in the extra-inning game against Holy Cross when she drove in the winning run with a double down the right field line.

Dave Meier

The Vikings’ other leading hitters were senior Casey Fulton and freshman Emmalyn Martin, who had six hits each. In the seventh inning against NewCath, Martin cleared the bases with a two-out triple and then scored on a throwing error.

But it was junior pitcher Joslyn Thornberry who received the tournament’s most valuable player award. In the last two games combined, she gave up only four hits and one earned run with 17 strikeouts.

Villa Madonna (5-0) will face teams from Middlesboro, Whitefield Academy and Trimble County in the pool play round of the state tournament on Saturday.  The winner and runner-up in each pool will compete in the championship bracket on Sunday.

Coach Meier will be counting on his two seniors and four juniors for steady leadership during the team’s first-ever state tournament appearance.

“This group of upperclassmen have trusted the coaches and bought into the program,” he said. “They have made a commitment and dedication to teach the younger players the ropes while having fun along the way.”

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