It was the only way to describe the 2017 Borgia softball season.
Not even Head Coach Andrew Eggert dreamed the season would be so big.
“Our team was able to achieve our preseason goals and even surpass some of them,” Eggert said. “I am very proud of this team and everything that they have accomplished.”
The Lady Knights went 19-7, winning the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division title for the third year in a row. Borgia also won the St. James Tournament title.
The biggest run came at the end. The Lady Knights held off Union to win their first district title since 1980, and the team’s fourth overall district crown (1976 and 1978 were the other two).
Additionally, Borgia won its sectional game at Festus, holding on with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to secure the 5-3 win.
In the quarterfinal round, Borgia managed nine runs, but fell to Cape Notre Dame, 15-9.
Eggert felt every member of the team contributed to Borgia’s long run through the playoffs this season.
“I really think that our team was the standout this season,” Eggert said. “We had a group of girls come together and work for each other.”
In the tough times, the Lady Knights were able to rely on junior lefty pitcher Lizzie Lynchard, who kept Borgia in some very close games throughout the season.
“Lizzie Lynchard was a real standout for us this year,” Eggert said. “She was able to get in the circle and compete day in and day out.”
Lynchard went 14-3 in the circle with a 1.30 ERA. Over 140.1 innings, she allowed 111 hits and 21 walks while striking out 130 batters.
At the plate, Lynchard batted .378 with nine doubles, one triple and one home run. She was the AAA Large player of the year and made the all-conference first team. She was selected to the all-district and all-region first teams as well.
Another key player was junior first baseman Josie Lindemann. She batted .423 with nine doubles, one triple and six home runs. A big blast came in the sectional game and helped to spark Borgia’s winning rally against Festus. Twice, she belted home runs in the bottom of the seventh to lift the team to 1-0 wins.
Lindemann was named the all-conference, all-district and all-region first teams.
This year’s Borgia team had three seniors. MJ Maguire, who will continue her career at Quincy University, was the team’s center fielder. Maria Bohle and Brianna Moritz were first-year starters at shortstop and second base, respectively.
“Our seniors were able to provide leadership by example,” Eggert said. “They came in every day ready to work and get things done.”
Maguire made the all-conference second team while hitting .250 with one double, 17 runs four RBIs and seven stolen bases.
Bohle batted .347 with three doubles, 13 runs, nine RBIs and three stolen bases after taking over for Katelyn Gratza. She was an all-conference honorable mention pick.
Moritz batted .225 with 10 runs, eight RBIs and five stolen bases after replacing the graduated Maddie Tuepker. She made the AAA Large honorable mention list.
“I hope that our underclassmen watched these seniors closely and were able to learn from their example,” Eggert said. “Maria, Bri, and MJ really worked hard to lead the way to the season that we were able to have. They came to the park each day and made sure everyone worked hard and did their part for the team. It has been wonderful to have these three in our program and show our underclassmen what leadership is all about.”
Eggert said Bohle and Moritz were two of the team’s most improved players.
“Maria Bohle and Brianna Moritz had some big shoes to fill and they definitely rose to the occasion,” said Eggert.
Another improved player was left fielder Elizabeth Smith. “Smalls,” as Eggert called her (there were more nicknames than a vintage base ball team), was the No. 9 hitter, but came up with some big clutch hits. She batted .407 with two doubles, 14 runs, eight RBIs and six stolen bases. She made the all-conference first team and all-district second team.
“Elizabeth Smith stepped up and really solidified our outfield and added some punch at the plate,” Eggert said.
Smith replaced Beth Obermark in left field after Obermark moved to catch following last year’s graduation of Lydia Helfrich.
“Beth Obermark took over behind the plate and really did a great job,” Eggert said. “She shut the running game down and did a great job of handling Liz.”
Obermark had a two-homer game against Cape Notre Dame in the quarterfinal round. For the season, she hit .372 with four doubles, one triple and two home runs. She drove in 18 and stole two bases when she was allowed to run.
Obermark made the all-conference and all-district first teams.
Moving into right field was freshman Mya Hillermann. She generally didn’t hit, but provided some key defensive plays, including the snag to secure the sectional win. She replaced Dani Kimminau, who moved to third base.
“Mya Hillermann took over right field and did a great job,” Eggert said. “She was someone who really worked hard and really made the most of her opportunities.”
With most of the players eligible to return next season, Eggert is looking forward to what 2018 can bring to the program.
“I very excited about next season,” he said. “We have a group that has been able to get a lot of great experience, and we are excited to build off of those experiences.”