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TOPIC: Central State bound
OUR VIEW: Baseball, softball teams have been dominant
School is out for Central Hardin High School, but that is not stopping the baseball and softball programs at the school from representing their school, county and region at its highest level in Kentucky.
Both teams are playing in the State Tournament.
The Lady Bruin softball team meets North Laurel in Owensboro on Thursday in the double-elimination event, while the Central Hardin baseball team returns to Lexington for the single-elimination State Tournament against George Rogers Clark.
The Lady Bruins have been among the region’s elite teams since the start of the season and emerged, as expected, as a postseason powerhouse. The 34-4 Lady Bruins have weathered a late-season coaching change and now find themselves among the state’s last standing of 16 teams.
Central Hardin carries a 15-game win streak into the State Tournament and is coming into this matchup after beating district and region tournament opponents by a combined 48-5 score.
The Bruins, 32-4, have carried the weight of expectations for the last year admirably. Coach Todd Thompson’s squad rolled through district and region play, winning all five games by a combined 67-11 score.
With all starters back aside from a pitcher from last year, few teams in the region in any sport have had a target this large on their backs for so long, but the Bruins have marched on and played the game and played it very well, climbing as high as fourth in a state coaches association poll.
Only 31 times since 1998 has a school in Kentucky’s 16 regions had both the baseball and softball programs in the State Tournament the same year. Central Hardin now has accomplished that feat twice in the last four years.
A State Tournament is the proverbial icing on the cake for a season of play. But this is also a reward for the endless hours of work student-athletes put in during the season and in the offseason, the tireless work underpaid coaches devote to the programs, and for the parents who staff concession stands, hold fund-raisers and design championship T-shirts.
These two programs are where they are because of hard work and playing within a team concept. Sure, both teams have stars in their lineups, but playing as a team and caring about the person next to you as much as yourself can go a long, long way.
These Central Hardin teams are proof of that as they showcase themselves at the highest level in the state.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.