State Softball: Rochard dominates to lift Warhill to program’s first state title

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Warhill's softball team poses together after winning its first state championship. (Photo courtesy of Warhill Athletics)
Warhill’s softball team poses together after winning its first state championship. (Photo courtesy of Warhill Athletics)

After defeating Broadway 2-0 in the Group 3A semifinals, Warhill Softball Coach Tom Bunn said the Lions would need a better offensive performance to defeat Brookville in Saturday’s state championship game at Liberty University.

That proved not to be the case, as the Lions downed Brookville 2-0 despite recording just three hits to claim the program’s first state championship.

Leading the way offensively and defensively for the Lions was Keely Rochard, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI and pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out five batters and allowing five hits.

The Lions (25-1) produced all of their scoring in the bottom of the first inning, as Rochard drove in Olivia Schulz on a well-executed bunt. On the next at-bat, Makayla Fannin also reached base on a bunt, scoring Kieran McClure from third base in the process.

With a 2-0 lead in hand early, Warhill was able to limit Brookville’s scoring opportunities throughout the rest of the game.

The final challenge for Warhill came in the top of the seventh inning, when Brookville’s Hannah Wright doubled to center field. Later that inning, Kailey Huffman singled to center field, putting runners on the corners.

Like she has done all season, Rochard pitched her way out of the jam, striking out Meredith Rosser to record the game’s final out before rushing to home plate to celebrate with her teammates.