Lady Cubs: is third time the charm

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
On the mark — Callie Umholtz, Humboldt High senior, connects for a hit during a game this season. Humboldt High’s Lady Cubs are on the mark as they head to the 2009 Kansas Class 2-1A State Softball Tournament this weekend in Emporia.

Humboldt High’s Lady Cubs step into their third straight Kansas Class 2-1A State Softball Tournament with a lot of confidence. They also know they are the team with the target on its back because of the No. 1 seeding.
The problem the first two years at the 2-1A state tournament was “we couldn’t get past the first round,” said Kelci Owens, one of six seniors on the 2009 Humboldt High softball team.
“We all have state tournament experience and we know what it takes to get past that game this season.”
Several of the seniors also know what it is like to win at a state tournament. Their freshman year the Lady Cubs took third in the Kansas Class 3A state tournament. It took Humboldt three tries at the 3A state tournament to break through the first-round wall.
Joining Owens as seniors are Lenzie Boring, Callie Umholtz, Rachel Green, Megan Dillow and Bailey Myers. The Lady Cubs also have sophomore Melissa Davidson and freshmen Kylee Carson, Taylyn Wells, Hannah McCall, Kindahl Young, Hannah Fiene and Miranda Myer.
“As a team these girls don’t get too excited. They know what we have to do on the field to be good. Winning regional was the first step,” said Brad Piley, Humboldt head softball coach. Piley’s assistant coach is David Taylor.
Boring is pegged as the starting pitcher for the Lady Cubs. Boring has been the team’s top pitcher the past few years.
The Lady Cubs are 20-1 and top-seeded in the 2009 Class 2-1A state softball tournament this weekend. They play eighth-seeded Dexter/Cedar Vale (11-12) at 5 p.m. Friday on Field A of the Trusler Sports Complex in Emporia.
If Humboldt wins, it plays winner of Oxford-Salina Sacred Heart, 10 a.m. Saturday, Field B. The state tournament’s third place game is at noon, Field B. Championship game is 1 p.m., Field A.
Humboldt’s seniors and coaches realize the team didn’t have the toughest regional tournament to win.
“But we’ve played teams like Caney Valley, Cherryvale in the Tri-Valley League and Iola in a tournament. Those three teams are quality teams and Iola is in the 4A state tournament,” Piley said.
“Those games came in the second half of our season and have prepared us for the state competition.”
“Our freshmen have stepped and played well as the season went along,” said Dillow, who catches and is the team’s No. 2 pitcher. “We all want to win and we know what has to be done to do that.”
Piley said the Lady Cubs are hitting the softball better this season. He said that will help as “we’ve always played well defensively and been blessed with steady pitching.”