A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

Barnum can't get past section final

Very quietly, the Barnum softball team put together a solid year. That year was rewarded with a run to the Section 7A title game last week, where they fell to Cherry 14-0.

“It was a great season and I am so proud of the girls,” said Barnum coach Dusty Collelo. “I really think this will give the girls a lot of incentive to try and win the section next season.”

The Bombers had a chance to gain the early lead when they got a double with one out from Kayelea Poirer. Poirer eventually advanced to third, but couldn’t score when Cherry induced Jess Stevens on a groundout to first to get the third out of the inning.

“That was a good chance for us. Our kids were loose on the bus, but once we started warmups you could see they were tight,” Collelo said. “This is the first time our kids experienced this in their careers, and you could just see they were a bit uptight.”

That nervousness came home to roost in the bottom of the inning when the Tigers came out and scored seven runs, effectively putting the game out of reach early.

“I think having the chance to play in a championship game will help the kids coming back next year,” Collelo said. “I just think it will make them hungry to want to get back to that championship game and prove what they can do.”

After a scoreless second inning, the Tigers added a run in the bottom of the third and then picked up six more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to eventually win via the 10-run rule.

The section title win for Cherry was their first since 2017 after a long run that was ended in 2018 by Carlton and then in 2019 by South Ridge.

After going 16-7 this season, the Bombers will lose just two starters and three seniors to graduation. They lose catcher Jess Stevens and third baseman Madison Warnygora as well as reserve Kelly Crump.

“We will have a couple of holes to fill, but we pretty much get everyone back,” Collelo said. “We will spend the summer working on things, and hopefully with that work we can get back to the championship game again and have a different outcome.”