One by one, Lee’s Summit softball coach Tracy Bertoncin singled out the key batters in the Tigers’ lineup.
When she was done, she had named all nine players. Perhaps they are all deserving.
The Tigers slugged their way to a Suburban Gold Conference title, finishing off the conference season 9-1 as they head into their Missouri Class 4 district tournament with the No. 1 seed.
Lee’s Summit batted for a .349 average in league games with five of the nine hitters batting .400 or better.
“We’ve never hit that well,’ said Bertoncin, who is in her 12th year as the Lee’s Summit head coach. “They’re very aggressive. They like to hit early in the count. They have a ton of confidence in themselves. It’s been very contagious.”
Lee’s Summit finished three games ahead of Blue Springs and Liberty to capture its first conference softball championship since 2006.
The Tigers, 18-7 overall, have a deep lineup, but none has been more productive than sophomore Emily Robinson, who batted .455 for the season.
Robinson also does the brunt of the work pitching for the Tigers. She has posted a 0.99 earned run average, including a microscopic 0.59 ERA in conference games.
“She really enjoys analyzing hitters,” Bertoncin said. “She likes to figure out hitters and challenge them. And I think being such a fabulous hitter herself, makes her a better pitcher. She knows what it takes to get good hitters out.”
Lee’s Summit will play its first district game Thursday. It is the only team to earn a bye in the seven-team district. In Wednesday’s games, No. 4 Blue Springs South will face No. 5 Lee’s Summit North; No. 2 Blue Springs will meet No. 7 Raytown South; and No. 3 Lee’s Summit West will play No. 6 Raytown. All three games are scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The district tournament will be played at Legacy Park in Lee’s Summit.
Blue Springs defeated Lee’s Summit 4-0 in the championship game last season. Blue Springs, 19-7, advanced to the Class 4 state title game, where it lost to Troy Buchanan. A week ago, Blue Springs finished undefeated in the Kewpie Classic in Columbia.