On May 22, the Legacy Christian Academy softball team etched their names in the annals of Texas high school softball history, clinching the highly coveted TAPPS Division II state championship title for the second consecutive year. Through an extraordinary display of teamwork and skill, the team showcased their unwavering determination and collective effort to emerge triumphant once again.
Throughout the game, Legacy Christian's players exemplified their exceptional abilities and resilience. Led by the guidance of Coach Coe, the team approached the championship game as underdogs, facing a formidable opponent in Hyde Park, a team with an impressive 43-2 record and a highly regarded coach in Texas softball. Despite the odds, Legacy Christian displayed unwavering spirit and unity.
Tied 6-6 going into the bottom of the 6th inning, the team faced a critical moment. With their focus on the game at hand, the players huddled together, pledging to leave everything on the field and play their hearts out for Jesus and their devoted fans. The bottom of the 6th inning saw some challenging moments, including an error. However, Legacy Christian's players showcased remarkable composure and determination, executing exceptional defensive plays. Kat Smith (`24) and Jackie Purtell (`24) collaborated seamlessly, executing a pivotal putout at home plate, while Smith's outstanding catch of a foul ball closed the inning. The Legacy Christian fans erupted with exuberance, providing an additional boost of energy for the team as they entered the decisive 7th inning.
The top of the 7th inning presented an opportunity for Legacy Christian's hitters to shine. Lexi Thomas (`24), who had been struggling at the plate in recent games, displayed incredible focus and determination. Encouraged by her coaches and fellow players, Thomas adjusted her mindset, unleashing her swing and body with newfound speed. Her pivotal single in the 7th inning served as the catalyst for an extraordinary inning. Lynlee Kennedy (`25) followed suit, showcasing her skill with a beautifully executed bunt, advancing runners and setting the stage for Ronnie Johnson's (`23) at-bat. Johnson, a model of consistency throughout the season, delivered yet again, connecting with the ball for a crucial double that drove in two runs. However, the standout moment belonged to Jackie Purtell, who rose to the occasion. The coaches had challenged Purtell to hit to the opposite field all season long, and in the championship game, she executed flawlessly. Her single flustered Hyde Park's defense, allowing another run to score and solidifying Legacy Christian's commanding 9-6 lead.
Coach Coe expressed immense pride in the team's collective effort and unwavering commitment, stating, “It was a remarkable display of teamwork and determination. Our players embraced the challenges, overcame obstacles, and showcased their incredible talent on the grandest stage. This victory is a testament to their hard work and the unwavering support from our fans. Each member of the team played a crucial role, and their collective effort was truly inspiring. It's a moment we will cherish and remember for a lifetime.”
Standouts Blair Ehmer (`25), Ronnie Johnson (`23), Lynlee Kennedy (`25), and Jackie Purtell (`24) were named to the All-Tournament team. Softball at Legacy is a family and this team fully embraced that philosophy. The Legacy Community are the best cheerleaders and encouragers around. They make a difference every game we play,” said Coach Coe.
She is excited for next year with the incoming freshman class having a ton of talent. The team will lose only one starter from the Championship team. Blair Ehmer will return to the circle and Newcomer of the Year Jackie Purtell will be behind the plate. Big bats Lynlee Kennedy, Purtell, Ehmer, Lexi Thomas, and Allie Watson will return. Coach Coe and the Lady Eagles are hoping next year for a three-peat. “The future looks very bright from where we are standing! Legacy Fans better wear shades next season!”