AUSTIN - Despite a long athletic history, Liberty High School was lacking one huge thing, a team State Championship. This afternoon Karen Slack's Lady Panthers ended that drought with a 3-1 win over Vernon in the Class 4A title game at McCombs Field in Austin.
Liberty showed no signs of jitters despite starting multiple freshmen. Sophomore Baylee Chandler tripled in the first, scoring Jaylen Prichard to get the Lady Panthers on the board. LP would add another tally when freshman Kaci West roped a sacrifice fly to center field, plating Chandler.
Vernon would get one run back immediately in the second inning when West uncorked a bases loaded walk with no outs on the board. The Baylor commit would settle down, striking out the next two batters before getting a ground out to end the frame. West finished the day with eleven strikeouts while giving up four hits and the lone run.
The Lady Panthers would score the final run of the contest in the third inning. With a runner at third, West lifted what looked like a harmless popup to second base. Instead the fielder would fall down after making the catch allowing Prichard to score.
Kaci West would finish off her gem in fine fashion, striking out the final batter to secure the school's first team State Championship. Coach Karen Slack was thrilled her team could accomplish the feat, "we've never had a State Champion in Liberty, Texas. So to bring this back home to them, I mean this girls are they pride of our town right now, I'm so proud of them."
When the dust settled West was named as the Class 4A State Tournament MVP. "I had faith in my team and I knew that with the team that we had we would go far and I'm just so proud of them."