Reinhardt, Harris power USA to third straight state title

The Lady Patriots won their third straight state title on Saturday, June 18, with a 4-1 win over Ottawa Lake Whiteford.

The win marked the eighth United States state softball title. That ties the state record with Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes and Stevensville Lakeshore, which also won its eighth title on Saturday.

“If you’re a competitor, you love this game,” coach Isaiah Gainforth said. “It was a game that we looked forward to regardless of the outcome. We knew who they were, they knew who we were. At the start of the year, if you asked us, if we got to the championship State, who would you be playing? It would have been Ottawa Lake Whiteford. Luckily, we came out on top.

“We executed a game plan defensively,” added Gainforth. “They like to play small ball, so we really tried to make things uncomfortable for them. I think we took them out of their game plan a bit.”

Gainforth said the pressure of a state title game isn’t there when it’s an expectation.

“We plan to get to last weekend,” he said. “I’m not saying we expect to win a championship every year. It’s unreachable. But, if we can get to last week and come down here, it’s anybody’s tournament.”

“That’s what we like in the United States,” he added. “I don’t have to beg the kids to play. I say that every time we come here. It was the girls watching in 2015, the 2016 squad. Those girls were youngsters in the 2019 squad It’s not just three months of sports at our school It’s the whole year They are committed When you are determined to win a championship they will do anything if they trust you . They trust us.

Laci Harris pitched seven innings, allowing a run in the sixth inning.

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