MONARCH MAGIC: A perfect finish for Papio’s dominant seniors


PAPILLION WEST — If they were writing a book on the ending of this dominant Papillion-LaVista season, the author may not even have thought of this one. 

The best player the state may have ever seen, stands on third — her team up 11-0 on North Platte — and her coach is thinking about putting in a courtesy runner. 

“I mean, I would have come out,” Jordyn Bahl said with a laugh, “but that was pretty cool. I was so happy for Maggie (Vasa) to get that last one batted in.”

Bahl scored the last run. On Vasa’s hit and a celebration erupted as the Monarchs defeated North Platte 12-0 in the finals.

So, one of the most dominant senior classes in state softball history has finished their career at 142-4 with three state championships. Their last losses, right here, two shockers from Lincoln Southwest in the 2018 state finals. 

In a season where the Monarchs adopted the theme “Be Secretariat” they indeed ran away for the Triple Crown. 

Todd Petersen has seen 16 state titles now. He doesn’t have many words left to describe this bunch. It was an emotional post game. 

“(North Platte) played us really tough last night,” Petersen said. “We thought we could get on them early just by hitting smarter.”

And, then the emotion hit.

“They were emotional today, and I was,” the coach said after a long pause to collect himself. “I tried to get my stuff out at the hotel so I could be ready to coach them.”

The Monarchs, it seemed, needed little direction in this one. Bahl, the pitcher who will play next year at national power Oklahoma, faced 10 batters in three innings and struck out eight. Bahl and the Monarchs didn’t allow a run in the postseason. 

Asked if she was the best player that Nebraska high school has ever seen, her coach didn’t mince words. 

“If she’s not the greatest ever, it’d be hard to put someone else there,” Peterson said. “Peaches James, was up there. But (Jordy) was just so dominant. She was a special player. 

“I hope people got to come out and see her play.”

They did, Coach. And the rest of those seniors who he wore with pride on his shirt for their final game. 

A dominant performance that they wouldn’t have had any other way. 

“It was emotional,” Bahl said. “Girls were crying in the hotel this morning. And then we were like, we can’t cry yet, we have to go win.”

The Monarchs did that one more time. A perfect ending to a near perfect career. 

GOLDEN: Jordyn Bahl and her final NSAA softball gold medal. (nebpreps photo / Dante Boelhower)

OVER THE TOP: Omaha Skutt finally got over the top in Class B as Hannah Camezind homered twice and Ruby Meylan came on in relief as the Skyhawks defeated 8-4 in the finals. The Tigers made their first state title game appearance in school history.

BIG STICK: Omaha Skutt’s Ruby Meylan takes a big swing in the Skyhawks 8-4 championship game win over Hastings. (nebpreps photo / Dante Boelhower)


BOUNCING BACK: After losing their opening game of the tournament, Guardian Angels Central Catholic roared back to win the Class C title with 7-3 and 12-0 wins over Kearney Catholic. The Bluejays lost their opener to Central City on Wednesday and then won three games each on Thursday and Friday for the title.

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