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Swampcats softball clinches SCISA 4A state title


The Laurence Manning Academy (LMA) Swampcats varsity softball team, under the leadership of head coach Buddy Truett, clinched the state championship after an impressive season. The 9-0 victory over Hammond School marks a significant achievement for Truett, who has been coaching the varsity team for three years. This is following a two-year stint coaching the junior varsity team alongside George Kosinki.

Truett, whose daughter, Hailey, is a senior at LMA and catcher on the team, reflected on the journey. “This is our third year on varsity, and we finished as runners-up in the previous two. Third time’s a charm,” he said with a smile.

The Swampcats ended their season with an outstanding 18-4 record, remaining undefeated in their region through the playoffs.

The championship series, which went into extra innings during game one, was a testament to the team’s resilience and determination. Despite some crucial late-game errors in that first game, the Swampcats managed to secure the win. The momentum from the away game at Hammond in Columbia energized the team for game two on Tuesday.

Truett praised his team’s mentality, saying, “They have bought into the ‘we not me’ mentality. It’s a team effort, and all of them get along well.”

The pitching team consisted of Elena Kosinki, assistant coach Kosinki’s daughter, and Kayleigh Parmenter-Avins. Parmenter-Avins threw a 2-hitter and racked up 15 strikeouts during the game two rout over Hammond. Karly Bjork, another senior, hit a 2-run homer in the third inning. Hailey, Bjork and the remaining seniors on the team, Sarah Madelyn Fleming and Savannah Feagin, all played crucial roles throughout the season. Truett emphasized that the success was due to a combination of talent and coaching, with the team having developed a strong foundation from the B-team up through varsity.

Truett acknowledged the contributions of all 14 players, highlighting that every member deserved credit for the season’s success. He also noted that overcoming mental mistakes and maintaining focus were key challenges the team faced. “If we played our ball, we’d be pretty good,” he predicted.

Looking ahead, Truett expressed optimism for the future, with a strong program in place across all levels of play at LMA. “We have a talented group, and we’re setting our goals to compete again next season. We’ve got some good years ahead of us,” he emphasized.

Reflecting on their opponents, Truett commended the Hammond team for their performance, particularly in the first game of the series. “They’ve got a good team and are fairly young. Best of luck to them next year,” he said.

The Swampcat’s victory shows the dedication and hard work of the players and coaches at Laurence Manning Academy. This championship celebrates an outstanding season and the strong team culture built by Truett and Kosinki. With a talented roster and a focus on teamwork, the Swampcats are set for continued success. The future looks bright as younger players step up to replace the graduating seniors. The Swampcats are ready to build on their legacy and aim for excellence in the coming seasons.

The championship team’s roster included the following players: #2 Lyza Prickelmyer, #3 Anna Lewis Burke, #4 Marlee Black, #5 Karly Bjork, #7 Sarah Madelyn Fleming, #8 Lila Kate Mathis, #9 Lily Wellborn, #10 Savannah Feagin, #12 Maggie Welch, #15 Jessica Griffith, #21 Kayleigh Parmenter-Avins, #22 Hailey Truett, #23 Laini Kosinski, and #27 Ashley Rae Hodge.