SOLON — Solon softball players are performing this summer with fire in their eyes.
“Definitely, nothing has changed,” senior Kara Misel said Saturday.
The Spartans were 37-7 last year, losing the Class 3A state championship game to Ballard in Fort Dodge.
“That was a big loss for us,” Misel said. “We wanted to get that for the seniors last year. I know it was big deal for them.”
Solon Coach Jim White said his team is displaying good balance on offense and defense this summer. The Spartans (31-2) led the state with 269 RBIs going into games Saturday against North Polk (an 11-1 victory) and Cedar Rapids Prairie (a 2-1 victory) at the Solon Classic.
“The one through nine hitters in our lineup have been really good for us, and we have three starting pitchers that have been dominant and have matched up well with other teams,” White said.
Both of Solon’s losses this season were to Dallas Center-Grimes.
“We play Dallas Center three times and we scheduled those games on purpose because their pitching is dominant and they have pitchers throwing 70 miles per hour,” White said.
“It’s something you don’t see every day.”
White said a young Solon team has merged well with three transfers from Clear Creek-Amana, the school where he coached the last 18 seasons.
“This is not that first time they have played together because they have been playing club ball or ASA together since they were younger (and) know each other pretty well,” White said. “This is a special group of kids.”
The Spartans are looking to make another run at the state championship, and Misel said the loss last year made the team want it more.
“We can taste it, and we want it,” she said.