Saturday, August 10, 2019

Warriors defeat Redbirds in Softball Tourney Title Game

The Germantown Hills Warriors pose with their championship trophy of the 19th Annual St. Mary's/Riverview Lead-Off Softball Tournament, taking place on Saturday, August 10th, 2019. The Warriors defeated Metamora Grade in the title game by a score of 9-1. PHOTO / ALEX STAAB
Metamora, Ill. - When you lose key players from one year to the next, questions can certainly arise. You may not be sure what to expect headed into the next season.

Despite just that happening to the Germantown Hills Warriors, they did as good as any team can, starting the season with the St. Mary's/Riverview Lead-Off Tournament and going a perfect 3-0 to win the title.

Head Coach Patrick Vaughan thinks there weren't exactly nerves, but did cite the loss of a recently named All-American for Softball Factory.

"Last year, I think you got a D-1 player in Katy Ramage that you lose, not to mention the other girls that were really good. I knew what we had five eighth graders coming back and all of our seventh graders."

Among those players on the squad this go-around in 2019 is a player that Coach Vaughan calls "The Equalizer" in Nora Johnson. Johnson has pitched numerous games in a single day. That's something that the Warriors coach thinks came in handy on a day like today, where Germantown Hills played three games, even dubbing her with a second nickname.

"They call her 'The Terminator' because she just goes, and goes, and goes."

The Warriors began the tournament with a pair of 10+ run victories over Peoria Christian and St. Mary's/Riverivew set up the big game. A Route 116 Rivalry game against the Metamora Grade Redbirds.

It created an impressive crowd that saw fans lining both foul lines and nuermous groups found space for tents on Metamora High School's center field berm. It's an atmosphere that Coach Vaughan loves.

"This is an awesome tournament. St. Mary's does a nice job taking care of these fields. This is one of those playoff asmosphere-type games."

Vaughan did go on to say that the game created an interesting dynamic with nuermous familiar faces between both sides.

"Any time you play against kids you know, there's jitters. A lot of those (Metamora Grade) kids play summer ball for me."

In the end, it wasn't the scores of the prior two games, but the Warriors took the game by an eight-run spread, 9-1 to be exact.

A 3-0 start to the 2019 season for a school that made it to the State Finals two years ago brings a true vote of confidence from the head coach.

"I don't think there's a team in the state we can't compete against. I don't think there's a hole in the lineup."

In closing, Vaughan shared a few more details about how, although the Warriors left quite the good impression this weekend, they are taking it one game at a time.

"Do all the little things correctly, and good things will happen."

Miss today's exciting game? You have one last regular season chance to see the Warriors and Redbirds square off again. The game is Thursday, August 29th, at 7:00 pm, so yes, the game will be under the lights.

It's a unique and fun atmosphere to catch these two do battle once again. A fairly large crowd is anticipated, so having a lawn chair handy wouldn't hurt.

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