MAYO — It was a large senior class for the Lafayette High softball team this season with more than half of the starting lineup filled by seniors.
Those five players went through some adversity in their time at LHS. There was a rare losing season in 2017 — they were all young, playing major roles as freshmen — and a slow start in 2019.
But Maddi Koon, Richelle McDonald, Alexis Koch, Hannah Murray and Jenna Nall showed they were winners as they continued the long tradition of LHS softball success. They helped lead the team to a 2019 district title against a powerhouse Madison County team and guided the Hornets to a Final Four the same season.
“Last year’s district championship against Madison really stuck out to me,” LHS coach Derek Garland said of some of the best moments he experienced with the senior class. “They had beaten us twice. I believe they were ranked in the Top 3 of the state and no one expected us to win except the girls in that dugout. They played with the heart of a champion which they are.
“They have improved as players, but what I am truly proud of is watching them grow as teammates. This was a great group who just loved to play softball.”
Koon had some key extra-base hits for this season’s team, which was 8-4 before the season was canceled, and last year’s squad. McDonald had a 32-24 record in the circle in her five-year high school career. She pitched 334 1-3 innings total with a 3.03 ERA and 332 strikeouts. McDonald was also a good hitter at the top of the lineup, finishing her career with 80 hits and a .279 batting average.
Nall, a four-year starter, was a .277 hitter with 20 career RBIs. She hit her first home run this season. Murray was also a four-year starter and hit .240 with nine doubles, two home runs and 43 RBIs. Koch played four seasons and hit .265 with a home run, triple and eight RBIs. She was batting .417 this season.
As for future plans, Koon, McDonald and Nall are going to college. Murray is going to college at State College of Florida in Bradenton where she will play softball. Koch is entering the Army.