Alabama’s southern sun glazed over the Jayhawks’ skin, sticky with nervous sweat for their first game at Nationals against the navy pinstriped Des Moines Area Community College Bears. Jayhawks sang their swan song with a final score of 1-9 last Tuesday. The Bears played rough as they stole a handful of bases and knocked the softball far outfield, but the Jayhawks fought back.
With excellent teamwork, Kennadi Dykstra assisted Haley Arsenault with an RBI, which allowed Arsenault to score the Jayhawks’ first point at the top of the 5th inning. The crowd roared and chanted for the Jayhawks’ first and final point.
Though the coach of the Jayhawks team, Kevin Dalson, was saddened by the loss, he acknowledged how far they have come. “Ultimately, winning the championship and regional is such a great achievement for a very young team,” Dalson said. “The coaches are so proud of what they accomplished!”
And accomplished they are! With 2nd best on-base percentage of .450 in Michigan, it’s no wonder the Jayhawks were one out of 16 teams to make Nationals this year. Dykstra reflected on this season. “We had an amazing season this year,” she said. “Even though we did not finish nationals how we wanted, that does not take away from how hard we worked throughout our entire year to get there.” She went on to say how she thinks next year will play out. “We know what the competition is like, and we will be better prepared for next year,” Dykstra said.
The Jayhawks played 39 games this season. Out of these 39, the Jayhawks have won 31 overall. One loss did not deter the Jayhawks’ team spirit. With confidence, Dykstra added, “We are going to come back even stronger.”