LEBANON - After finishing the District 9AAA regular season in fifth place with a 7-6 record, the Station Camp Lady Bison won four of their next five games to finish third in the tournament, which was the best finish of any Sumner County District 9AAA team.
During the team’s 21-18 season, Station Camp saw a power surge, going from 17 home runs as a team to 43 this year, while also seeing the team batting average improve from .275 to .355.
“During the tournament, we really got great pitching, played great team defense and hit the ball over the park,” Station Camp coach Ken Crook said. “Every game we approached we played really well. Even in the final loss to Wilson Central I thought we hit the ball extremely well we just hit it right to them. Nonetheless this was a heck of a run by our team and I couldn’t be prouder of the girls.”
The third-place finish is the best finish in school history for Station Camp in the 10 years coach Crook has led the team.
Station Camp graduates just three seniors, Kendall Collier, Addie Lange and Gabby Sarabia saying he will miss their leadership next season.
“Anytime you have an end-of-the year talk it’s hard,” he said. “I just thanked the girls for what they have meant to this program and for their leadership on and off the field. They weren’t the most vocal leaders but they led by example and I am very thankful for them.”
In the first game of the tournament, Station Camp defeated Beech at Veterans Park upsetting the reigning District 9AAA tournament champions 9-5.
Trailing 4-2 in the top of the third inning, the Bison plated three runs and another three runs in the sixth inning and never looked back.
With just three seniors leaving next year for college, the future looks very bright for the Bison softball program.
“We are really excited for the future,” Crook said. “We have a really good freshman class coming in and the future looks bright. The middle school has been really good for us the last several years and I can’t say enough about our kids getting more and more involved with travel ball. That has been huge for us.”
Though the future is bright for the Bison softball team, coach Crook says his team cannot rest on their laurels.
“We just need to commit to being better,” he added. “The kids got a taste for a deep run in the district tournament and they should want to get better. They just need to commit to improving and good things will happen. We have good players so if we commit to getting better every day and not be satisfied with finishing third but want to win it and advance to regions then I think we will continue to set the bar even higher in years to come.
“I think regions is a very obtainable goal for our team next year,” Crook added. “The atmosphere is different the further and further you get into post-season play and the girls really enjoyed that.”
Joining Rachel Roach and Ken Crook on staff next year will be former Bison standout Allie Fulcher, who played the last four years at Tennessee Martin.
“We are excited to have Allie back with us to help out our infield,” he said. “Allie was a good short stop for us before graduating in 2015 so she will be a welcomed addition.”
During the tournament Addie Lange and Tinley Thompson were recognized for their All-District sections while Ella Rhodes and Gabby Sarabia were honored with All-Tournament awards. Coach Ken Crook was also named Co-Coach of the Year.