Savannah softball’s journey to the state championship began Thursday morning when the girls waved goodbye to classmates as their bus left the school parking lot en route to Springfield, Missouri. When they return, the Savages hope to step off the bus as Class 3 State champions.
“We’re pretty excited because no softball team at Savannah has ever made it this far,” Savannah junior Maddelyn Graves said.
Savannah (19-2) advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in program history after defeating Nevada 10-0 last Saturday. The Savages are set to play Sullivan (24-6) today at 2 p.m.
Savannah’s first-year coach Ashley Anderson said several of her players have experience batting against Sullivan’s starting pitcher.
“We know they have a pitcher that has good control and a good changeup. As long as we have quality at-bats, that’s what we're wanting,” Anderson said.
“'I’ve played against their pitcher,” Savannah junior Kenzie Schopfer said. “We’re really focusing on being selective with her pitches.”
Schopfer will take the mound for the Savages today. She did not give up a single run to Nevada last week, striking out 13 of the 16 batters she faced.
Savannah plans to have a team breakfast in the morning, followed by watching Maysville (23-5) play Salisbury (20-5) in the Class 1 semifinals at 11 a.m. The Savages will then take the field themselves nearing game time.
"You wouldn't really know anything special is going on, they were business as usual at practice today," Anderson said Thursday. "They are having a lot of fun though, too."
The Savages boast their best winning record in years with an 19-2 record this season after going 17-8 last year.
With a win today, Savannah will advance to the championship round.
“I think that we’re pretty excited and we just want to play. Win or lose, we want to be proud of ourselves for how we played,” Schopfer said.