Manhattan baseball and softball ready to make noise in state tournament

Manhattan High School
Manhattan High School(WIBW)
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:05 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - For the first time in quite sometime both baseball and softball programs will head to the state tournament.

The baseball team is 18-1 this season and lost in the the state championship last season and that’s what they say is fueling them this season. There are 13 seniors on this team that want to end it in style.

“A big thing that has stuck with us and it’s been in the back of our heads our entire high school career, (Don) Hess sat us down our freshman year and told us that he saw a state championship in this group and said why not us,” Senior Kyler Horsman said. “That’s really been our moto going into this last year is why not us.”

“Just know that we’ve been there before and we’re prepared,” Senior PJ Hughes said. “While we’re there, just stay calm and confident because most of us have been there before and we’re confident.”

MHS beat Wichita Heights 10-0 in the Regional Championship. Head coach Don Hess says he loves coaching the players he has.

”I think our guys expectations are so high that they’re maintaining the hunger to what it takes to be successful,” Hess said.

As for the softball team, they’re headed back to the state tournament for the first time in 20 years after knocking off Wichita Northwest 9-7 in the Regional Championship.

MHS is 17-5 this year and head coach Connie Miller believes they’re peaking at the right time.

”Just doing our routine just preparing like we’ve prepared all year,” Miller said. “Trying not to get to caught up in the moment.”

While this is new for most of this squad, Miller said they’re handling it well and the players know what’s at stake.

“Take it one pitch at a time, one hit at a time, one inning at a time, trying to focus on the now and what’s in the moment instead of focusing on the next game or week or practice,” Senior Takara Kolterman said.

“If you don’t win your game, you don’t have another one so we have to make sure that we’re focusing on what we can, controlling what we can, not the umpires, the other team, not the people in the stands but our own game and play our own game,” Senior Kierra Goos said.”

They told 13 Sports their loss in the Regional Championship last season lit a fire under them because they want to win with the group they have and see each other succeed.

Baseball will play at 11:00 a.m. against Blue Valley North in Lawrence while the Softball team plays Derby at 5:00 p.m. also in Lawrence.