Things obviously didn’t go the way the Daviess County High School softball team hoped they would on Sunday — falling to Louisville Butler 13-2 in the KHSAA State Softball Tournament championship game at the University of Kentucky’s John Cropp Stadium.
Nonetheless, the Lady Panthers — making the greatest run in the history of their fast-pitch program — walked out of the facility with their heads held high.
“It’s been an unbelievable season, it really has,’ said senior shortstop Abby Newman, who will be playing on scholarship for Western Kentucky University next season. “It’s disappointing we didn’t win today, but I’m so happy and thankful to have been a part of this team, a part of this program — it’s been a very special time.
“We knew we had a good team coming into the season, but I think because we lost our season last spring (due to the onset of the novel coronavirus), we worked harder than we ever worked before and were determined to become the best team we could be — and that’s what we did.
“Also, we became like family in terms of our closeness, on and off the field, and that’s a bond that’s going to last forever.”
This sentiment was duly noted all season by DCHS coach John Biggs, who repeated it again Sunday.
“It’s disappointing we didn’t get to hoist that big trophy,” Biggs said, “but the biggest disappointment is that we won’t be together tomorrow. This is a group that became really, really close over the course of the season, and that’s why it’s been so fun to coach them.
“This team came to work every day with the intention of getting better, and that hard work led up into the state championship game. We sort of knocked the door down this year and were able to take the program to another level, and it’s been a very exciting and rewarding time for all of us, including my outstanding coaching staff.
“Now, we know what this program can accomplish, and it will be fun and exciting to see where we can take it from here.”
Newman said it’s all about the DC culture.
“Coach Biggs has been so supportive of us — we’ve worked very hard, but he’s been the one who has set the tone for this program’s improvement,” Newman said. “He’s the one who taught us to put the team ahead of ourselves, and we all bought into that.
“The culture here has become unbelievable, and I believe DC softball is going to be successful next season and for years to come — I’ll be their biggest fan cheering from Western.”
And, the future of DC softball begins on Monday.
“Back to work,” Biggs said, with a grin. “We’ve got 80 softball campers from first grade through eighth grade coming out (Monday) for the next four days, so (the process) never really ends.”