No. 8 Hayden wins state again; three KVL teams also compete
Although Tonganoxie didn't make a trip to state this weekend, its final opponents did.
And they won it all.
Hayden, which knocked THS out of its own softball regional 2-0 on May 13, won the 4A State Tournament on Saturday in Mulvane.
The No. 8 Wildcats entered state with an 11-12 record, but won their second straight state crown with a 1-0 victory against Piper. It's also Hayden's third title in four years. The Wildcats finished the season 14-12; the Pirates had a 23-3 mark.
Hayden's title wasn't necessarily surprising. HHS' schedule included 5A and 6A Topeka schools.
After starting the season 3-9, Hayden went 11-3 in its last 11 games.
Along with Piper and Hayden, two other Chieftain opponents made state appearances. Santa Fe Trail (18-7) took fourth in Class 4A after losing 3-2 to Garnett in Saturday's consolation game. Immaculata (10-11) lost to top-seeded and undefeated Frontenac in the 3A tournament Saturday at the Twin Oaks Complex in Manhattan. Frontenac survived the Raiders' upset bid with a 1-0 win.
THS coach Mark Mall said the league's three-team representation was impressive.
"I think that shows how tough our league is," Mall said.
Piper was Mall's pick to win the 4A crown he was almost correct. Another KVL team, Mill Valley, lost an even larger heartbreaker to Hayden in the finals last year, as Hayden won 4-1 in 23 innings.