St. Anthony softball eyes another State appearance

EFFINGHAM (WCIA) — In the pursuit of a state title, every St. Anthony softball player has had one word in the back of their mind.

“Our team saying this year was GATE,” senior Maddie Kibler said. “Give your All to the Team Every day.”

A simple word, not even related to the game, that encompasses St Anthony Softball’s goal for the season.

“No matter if we’re playing someone with a losing record or a winning record we always want to have the same outcome,” said senior Abbi Hatton. “We always want to win.”

And win they have with a 72-18 record in the last three seasons. During that time, the Bulldogs leveled up to Class 2A, advanced to State the first year in a new division, and finished third last year. And after coming so close, this veteran group including 13 upperclassmen is hungry to win it all.

“Honestly moving up to 2A was like nothing for us cause like we still have each others backs,” said junior Adysen Rios. “We’re still the same team that we are and we all love to compete.”

The GATE mindset was brought in by head coach Makayla Taylor, who just four years after taking over the program, is set to graduate her first group of seniors, including a handful of college softball signees.

“They have all the motivation in the world to continue to do great things” said Taylor. “I think they wanna go out with a bang with it being senior year so there’s just so much potential”

“She always says give me just an hour and a half of the strongest time that you can and I think that’s made us also grow as like players and college and stuff we’ll take it with us,” said senior Sydney Kibler.

The entire roster giving their all to their team every day, including next week when they take diamond as the top seed in their Sectional.

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