Faith Training Christian Academy came into the playoffs dropping its last two games of the season and facing a team that had beat them three times in the regular season in the first round.
Despite the hurdles, the Lady Patriots won their ACEL four state title over the past 10 years on April 28 at Comeaux Park in Abbeville.
"It was really huge because we had a rocky start to the season going 0-2," FTCA head coach Rob Fleshman said. "We even lost our last two regular season games, so a state championship seemed like a distant goal. The girls never lost heart and kept after it. We had a pretty specific game plan on how to win."
No. 3 FTCA defeated No. 4 Assembly Christian 7-6 in eight inning on a walk-off hit to shallow center by second baseman Sienna Stinely to score Hannah Keusters and win the state championship.
"It dropped just over first base and the right fielder," Fleshman said. "She sprinted home and was safe at the plate."
Bethel defeated the Lady Patriots three times during the regular season, but the FTCA got them with in mattered the post, winning 12-4 in the state semifinal game.
"It was like a monkey off our back," Fleshman said. "We beat some quality teams this year, but we never could beat Bethel. They always found a way to win against us. We felt like we had pulled every trick out of the bag and still came up short."
Not only did the semifinal win end a pair of slumps, but it also got the Lady Patriots into the state championship game for the 10th year in a row.
"Sometimes you go into a program and you're in a rebuilding mode," Fleshman said. "When I was handed the batton, it was 'don't mess this up.' It was already a great program for a decade before I got it. I wanted to be faithful to the investments that the previous coaches had put in."
Besides the team awards, FTCA picked up some individual hardware, as well.
Senior first baseman Lori LeDoux was selected as the League MVP after sitting out here junior year with a torn ACL. LeDoux was selected as all-state for the second time in her career.
"During last season, she came to every practice and sat in the dugout for everything game knowing she could not play," Fleshman said. "She really loves the game of softball. To see her come back stronger than ever after the injury, it was huge."
Joining LeDoux on the first team was shortstop Rebecca Evans, and third baseman Kaylee Fleshman and catcher Lacey Cole picked up second team honors.
"The whole goal was winning at state, but seeing the individuals recognized along the way is great," Fleshman said. "The other coach and I look at the stats together, and to see them have the same eye as me on these girls' playing ability was encouraging."