Wamego softball setting the standard with multiple state championships

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT
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WAMEGO, Kan. (WIBW) - For the second time in the last three seasons, the Red Raiders have hoisted a first place trophy.

Head coach Luke Meyer told 13 Sports when he took over the program, there was a lot growth to be had and now, he’s helped change the landscape along with his players.

”It amazes even myself of how far we’ve come,” Meyer said. “This senior class, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group so bought in more to a program and a philosophy than they have.”

The duo of senior Maya Gallagher and sophomore Peyton Hardenburger for Wamego in the circle was pretty much hittable all season.

Gallagher pitched in the State Quarterfinal game against Rock Creek, then Hardenburger threw two no-hitters and combined for 29 strikeouts in the semifinals and championship.

This is a group that’s been keen on giving back to the community and impacting the younger generation. A team that’s so tight knit, it seemed like nobody could stop them.

“I want to be able to do as much as I can to help build that dynasty and I feel like the school feels the same way as far as how invested they are,” Hardenburger said. “I think they finally saw our vision and they’re willing to invest in that and that’s why our bleachers were so full this postseason.”

“I hope they look up to us and they realize what it really takes to win a state championship and I hope they take it from us and want to put in all of that work so they can be at where we’re at now,” Gallagher said.

Now the goal is to continue to build upon what’s happening right now and having that expectation that they belong every single year. That started in 2021 when Wamego won it all.

“Maya was a big part of this and got this ball rolling and now to hand off the baton to Peyton and to see that grow, it’s just a full circle moment for me,” Meyer said.

“We were all just one big happy team. We’re one of the most connected, welcoming, communicative teams in the county or even in the state. It’s one of those things where it’s really hard to say goodbye but at the end of the day, you can smile and look back on all those memories,” Hardenburger said.

As Gallagher departs to College of Holy Cross, she hopes that legacy they set continues.

“It’s how we know we’ve made an impact, me and especially my senior friends. It’s such a great feeling to have deep down that we can leave softball, leave this sport and town knowing that we’ve done everything we can to help them,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher finished with 53 innings, a 9-1 record with a 1.31 ERA on 58 strikeouts and just four walks. Hardenburger tossed 76 innings and went 11-0 with a incredible 0.18 ERA and 182 strikeouts. Hardenburger only allowed two earned runs all season.

Wamego ends their season at 20-1, as their only loss came to the 3A State Champions, Rossville High School.