World Series champs from Lansing
After falling one run short of making a return trip to the Class 5A state softball tournament this spring, two Lansing High softball players hit the postseason jackpot this summer at the USSSA Fastpitch World Series at Mid-America West Sports Complex in Shawnee.
Brittney Lang and Rachel Milnark helped the 16-and-under Olathe Rockets to a 10-0 record and World Series championship in the A division on July 29.
The title came as somewhat of a surprise for the Rockets because they'd planned to use the World Series as a tune-up for the Amateur Softball Association National Tournament the following weekend in Sioux Falls, S.D.
"We were going to do pool play and then leave because we had nationals after that," Milnark said. "But then a coach came up to our coach and started bragging that they were going to win the tournament and then go to ASA and win that, too. We were like, 'OK, and got a little irritated. So we stayed, and we ended up winning the whole thing."
The Rockets posted a 3-0 record in pool play with a 14-0 victory over the Michigan Bridge Bulldogs, a 5-1 win against the St. Louis Damage and an 8-0 victory over Sizzle Blue.
The Rockets then won seven straight games in bracket play to claim the tournament title. They only surrendered six runs during the tournament while scoring 56. They defeated the Minnesota Renegades Green, 3-2 and 2-0, to secure the championship.
A big part of the Rockets' success was owed to Lang's pitching. She threw five of the games and was dominant throughout.
"Nobody could touch her," Milnark said of Lang's effectiveness.
Lang credited her teammates for the wins.
"I relied on my defense because we have a lot of really good players on our team and everybody has high expectations," she said.
Both Lang and Milnark collected individual honors. Both players earned All-World Team honors for their play, and Lang was named Most Outstanding Pitcher for the tournament. Teammate Kendall Patterson was the tournament MVP.
The Rockets went 0-2 in pool play at the ASA Nationals on July 30-31. Their summer season is now over.
CHILES SHINES FOR U-18 ROCKETS
Morgan Chiles, a senior-to-be at Lansing High and three-year starter for the LHS varsity softball team, competed this summer for the Olathe Rockets' 18-and-under squad.
Chiles helped the Rockets to a 3-5 record at the USSSA World Series, and she earned Most Valuable Player honors for one of the games.