Written by: Katelynn Parker and Joshua Morrison
History was made this year, Union City has completed their first ever season of fast pitch. The Lady Tigers shocked the community with their strength and drive. They poured their hearts into this season, beginning practice this summer, on July 16th, even practicing twice a day and putting in extra work on the weekends. There is no question the Lady Tigers put in the time they needed to be a successful first-year program. The girls never shied away from a tough competition, even playing 4 top-ten opponents.
The Lady Tiger’s surprised everyone by getting their first win on the second day of the season against Geary. The ladies in blue put together a memorable comeback during their first home game of the year. After falling behind 7-0 to Cashion, the momentum changed and Union City mounted a comeback to win 12-9.
Union City finished the season with 9 wins, even though they were the underdog in every game they played. Playing the #1 team in the state 3 times, the #2 team in the state and the #10 team in the state. Union City kept #2 Roff on their toes, midway through the game as they found themselves up 3-1 ,but were unable to hang on to their lead. Even though they lost that game, they proved they were a team to be reckoned with.
This season senior, Allison Kaulaity, led the team with a .449 batting average and led the Lady Tigers with twenty-four RBIs. Senior, Chelsea Morgan, showed her strength defensively, making many impressive plays throughout the season. Before going down with an injury senior, Arin Karbs, led the lady’s offense with many powerful hits. Another powerful senior, Brionah O’Neal, led the team with the 5 triples over the season.
Freshman, Mackinzie DeLong, surprised everyone with her pitching this season. DeLong pitched 57 innings, and along the way she struck out 28 batters. Emily Griggs, another freshman pitcher, showed off her strength during the 34 innings she pitched, and over the season she struck out another 17 batters. The Lady Tiger’s first hit of the season came from freshman, MaKenna DeLong, who had a .328 batting average.
Senior, Kenadee Belcher became a vocal leader behind the dish and was a force with her strong arm, throwing out 3 baserunners this year. The outfield saw many girls, including but not limited to Erica Rodgers, Emily Loughridge, Sabrie Locke, Meadow Schranz, and Kylie McCoy. These ladies focused on the outfield and being in the right place at the right time, and over the season improving greatly.
While the whole community was proud of how well the girls did this year, there is no question Coach Schmidt is the most proud of his team. He stated, “No one expected us to compete the way we did. We ignored all of the outside noise and the girls came together and had the mindset of not only making history but making it a successful year. I know the coaching staff is very proud of the time and effort they put in all summer and up to this point but we are not done, we have very very big plans for this spring, so get ready.”