The Mount Zion softball team qualified for the state playoffs for the second straight year in 2020.

Mount Zion’s softball team made a statement this season — last year was no fluke.

The Bulldogs qualified for the state playoffs for the second straight year, finishing as the third-place team from Region 5-AAAA and earning a trip to Madison County for this week’s first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.

They went 8-4 in the regular season, including 6-3 in region play. In their six region wins, they scored 21, 26, 17, 20, 20 and 21 runs.

“Everyone loves a comeback story, and everybody loves the underdog as well,” senior center fielder Kirsten Wyatt said. “I kind of feel like we’ve been the underdog. Hopefully that inspires people to not give up on themselves, their lives and their dreams.”

Wyatt hit .487 during the regular season with five home runs and 16 stolen bases. Teammate Shaniah Myles, a junior catcher, hit .432 with a home run, six doubles and 13 stolen bases.

Pitcher Morgan Cheevers, a junior, had 41 strikeouts for a team that developed a closer connection throughout the season.

“Eventually you realize that your teammates are more than people who wear the same shirt,” Cheevers said. “They are family. They are my sisters.”

The two-year playoff run is a credit to the players and to a key assistant coach, head coach Richard Robinson pointed out.

“Even though I am the head coach on paper, Kandis Roach has truly taken this team to the next level,” Robinson said. “This is her third year assisting Mount Zion and she has brought the knowledge and structure for this team. The team success this year is because of her.”

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