SHAWNEE — The winner and still champion.
Sparked by the play of McPherson High sophomore Bailea Crist, the Salina Stealth was able to defend its 16U state softball title during action this past weekend. The Stealth also won the state title in 2014.
The Stealth went 5-0 on the weekend. The team went 3-0 on Saturday, with victories over the Hericanes (7-0), Salina Nemesis (4-0) and Flint Hills Wind (7-1).
After polishing off the Salina Heat 9-1 in the semifinals Sunday, the Stealth scored a two-out run in the final inning for a harrowing 1-0 victory over the Johnson County Fusion in the championship game.
The Stealth will be leaving for Peoria, Ill., on Monday to play in the USSSA Great Lakes National Championship. It will be among 47 teams in the field and is Kansas’ representative.
Crist had a terrific freshman season for McPherson High, earning AVCTL Division III honors. She was the Bullpups’ leadoff hitter and played some good outfield defense, in addition to taking some turns on the mound.