KOUTS | The regional title dreams for Kouts came to an end before the Fillies ever got a chance to make them a reality.
North Miami’s first two players reached on errors and then Indiana recruit Josie Wood blasted a three-run home run in the top of the first inning en route to a 16-2 victory in five innings.
The Fillies fell in the regional title game for the third time in four years and will lose the winningest class in school history.
“I’m extremely proud of this group,” Kouts coach Tim McNeil said. “Our school’s softball program has been in existence for 24 years and these seniors have played in four championship games. No one has ever gotten this far before.”
The Warriors (26-4) entered the regional outscoring their sectional opponents 37-1. It didn’t take long for the visitors to show off their power as Wood’s home run landed well beyond the left-field fence. North Miami plated two more runs in the inning and then got another home run in the second when Josie Knauff hit a two-run shot.
“We knew that the pitcher (Wood) could hit, but they had some other players who hit better than I expected,” McNeil said. “They are a very good team.”
The Fillies (11-15) got on the board in the third when Chloe Koedyker and Kay Christie reached base with consecutive singles. Senior Alyse Rosenbaum drove in the two underclassmen with a single straight through the middle of the North Miami defense. The Fillies would get just one more hit the rest of the game.
“They had a lefty with speed,” McNeil said of Wood. “We haven’t faced someone like her in a couple of years.”
McNeil held in his emotions after the game as he spoke about his talented senior class. The Fillies will lose four players, including pitcher Kylie Bruce, catcher Emily Kolb and Rosenbaum. While the game didn’t go the Fillies’ way, McNeil said the team had nothing to be ashamed about moving forward.
“It’s hard right now, just a tough pill to swallow,” he said. “They should be very proud. I think the one thing that stuck with me, and I didn’t mention it to the girls, but our fans didn’t leave. Even when we got down and when it was clear it was over, the fans stayed and supported us. That shows me a lot.”