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Ronan softball looks to divisional, state tournaments

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RONAN — While this is his first year coaching Ronan softball, head coach Brad Benson believes his girls have what it takes to make it to the state tournament. 

“As far as the season, we’ve been doing really well,” Benson said. “We went down to the Frenchtown tournament and faced three different class A teams and won all three of them.”

However, impressive as the team’s success has been, Benson couldn’t single out any particular player to attribute the success toward. 

“I really don’t like to choose one. To me, it takes a team to win games. I’ve never wanted to single anybody out and I don’t like to choose favorites,” Benson said. “I know the parents like to see it, but I don’t think it’s fair to the kids. Everybody plays the game and it takes all nine to get a win.”

Senior Ashleigh Lynch said the thing she loves about Ronan’s team is how close the team has become over the years — like a second family. As far as softball itself, she loves too many things to pick.

“I love it,” Lynch said with an ear-to-ear grin. “There’s so many things that go into the game. People say, ‘Oh, you just hit the ball and catch the ball in the field...’ but there’s so much more. With batting, when you get a good hit, it feels so good or when you steal ... when the ball is pitched, I don’t hear anything. You don’t hear anything when you get up to bat. But once I get a hit, I hear people screaming. It’s exciting, having your team and family cheering for you.”

The sentiment seems to be a common one, as sophomore Kenzie Dulmes echoed a similar feeling about the game. 

“When I’m in the game, I’m so focused and in the moment - I don’t know. It just clears my head and gets my mind off of everything,” she said. 

Dulmes said the season had a rocky start, adjusting to two new coaches and a new system of play, but added that the Maidens have come far since the first days of practice. 

“I’ve had a lot of fun this season,” she said. “Last year we got really close, and this year we’ve been closer. We’ve all gotten along with the freshmen coming up and we get along really well. It’s been good.”

The Maidens defeated Deer Lodge Thursday 6-5. Soon after, they played a doubleheader on Saturday against Troy and crushed the Lady Trojans by a combined doubleheader score of 32 to 3. 

Now in second place in the division behind Florence, Benson believes the Maidens have what it takes to go to state.

“I don’t mind losing, but I really like to win,” Benson said. “We’re getting there. We’ve won our share of games and I think we’re doing well, and I’d really like to go to state. I think that would be fun, and we have the ability to do it, for sure, but the players have to play the game. I can’t do it for them, so we’ll see what happens.”

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