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Wildcats off to strong start in 2024 softball campaign

Mar. 24—Diamond picked up five wins in a tournament hosted by Purdy High School and got four more in the Mount Vernon tournament to start the 2024 season.

The Wildcats played the first game on their home field on Friday night and used two home runs, a triple and a double to power their way to a 12-0 win over East Newton, moving to 10-0 on the season.

"Coming out, coach (BJ Lorenzen) and I were just amazed at the intensity and the competitiveness and the want these girls bring this year," Diamond head coach Kelsey Parrish said. "Their offseason work is showing."

Ten straight wins to start a year is the most for the Wildcats dating back to at least the 2015 season.

Diamond's senior group has its sights set on concluding a career full of winning with yet another postseason run.

Grace Frazier, Caitlyn Suhrie and Chloe Transeau — since the trio has been in high school, the softball team has taken fourth at state, won state and lost in a district championship.

Suhrie and Frazier are also a part of the volleyball and basketball teams. Frazier hadn't played volleyball in high school until her senior year.

This senior class has been a part of winning in every sport it has played in.

From their freshman year to now, the seniors won 77 volleyball games and finished with an overall record of 77-54-9; in basketball, the final record was 85-25.

They came into the softball campaign needing just 24 wins to reach 100 total in their career. Their career record currently sits a 86-17-1 with 21 regular season games still on the schedule for this season. There is also a tournament at Adrian and the postseason to add to the opportunities to tally 24 wins this year.

The success is apparent, but this last opportunity to go for the state championship has extra meaning to it after getting to the state tournament but coming up short in other sports.

"Once you make it so far, you get so much more hungry to keep going," Frazier said. "Every one of the girls on the team, whether they're on the bench or in the starting nine, we all have that hunger to keep going."

In volleyball, the Wildcats have won three district titles in the past four years but lost in the first round of state each time. In basketball, they won one district title and also lost in the first round of state. They lost in two district title games as well.

So, this will be the final opportunity to go take it all before graduating.

"Knowing that we're not going to be able to make that up in volleyball or make that up in basketball or make that up in any other aspect, besides the sport we're in right now," Suhrie said.

Frazier noted that the coaches constantly encourage all of the athletes to always be good teammates, and she sees that as a factor for them this year to help the team be a complete unit.