May 24th, 2018

Toppers stun Manual, win first district title in 13 years

Block_screenshot 2018-10-06 at 2

Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Toppers stun Manual, win first district title in 13 years
The Toppers smile wide with the district championship trophy / photo provided by the Meagher family

Tea Station Asian Bristo is proud to sponsor our softball coverage. You can visit Tea Station Asian Bristo for the finest Asian food at 9422 Norton Commons Boulevard, 40059. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.


That’s what the Presentation softball team did Wednesday night when it stunned Manual 5-3 at Central High to win the 25th District title.

“It’s a great night for our program,” Pres head coach Matt Meagher said. “It’s new for us, but hopefully it’s not the last time we will win one. We talked today about just believing. Believe that you can do it and believe that we can win. I think the ladies came out tonight with that attitude and thought that and they came away with the victory.”

It’s the first Fastpitch district title for the downtown Catholic school since 2005; this year’s senior class was in their last year of preschool.

“This is really exciting,” Pres senior Madeline Meagher said. “We knew that we were the heavy underdogs and that we would have to play exceptionally hard. But, it was extremely exciting when the game ended.”

The Lady Crimsons (24-8) won the regular season meeting 9-0 exactly five weeks earlier.

“We didn’t pitch Madeline in that game,” Matt Meagher said of his daughter. “She was able to come out and pitched a real good game for us. The biggest difference was that we were able to hit the ball a couple of times. We didn’t hit a lot because they have an outstanding pitcher, but we had timely hitting which we didn’t have last time. We had some good base running which we didn’t have the first game.”

It’s the Toppers (14-14) first win against Manual since the modern series started in 2010, a span of 15 games.  

Manual led 2-0 after one inning, but Pres pitcher Madeline Meagher settled down, and didn’t allow another run until the seventh inning.

“We tried to throw pitches everywhere, inside and outside,” Madeline Meagher said. “I threw some off-speed stuff because they have some excellent hitters. We just tried to work around the strike zone with stuff that we knew they would struggle with.”

The senior pitcher had to work out of a bases loaded nobody out jam in the seventh to secure the victory.

“Our defense did a great job of backing up Madeline,” Matt Meagher said. “Manual hit a rocket to right field and Kayla (Harp) made a great catch which kind of set the tone for our defense. There was a hard hit ball to second at Courtney Jackson and she took it off her bare hands and got the girl out at first. Alexis (Cammack) caught a decent fly-ball to end the game.”

Pres scored two runs off of a Harp double to tie the game up at two in the fourth inning.

Nicole Kuchma had a two-run double and Jenna Reliford had an RBI grounder to give the Toppers a 5-2 lead in the fifth.

Harp, Kuchma, and Meagher were named to the All-Tournament team.

Both teams advance to next week’s Seventh Region Tournament and will play at 11 a.m. Monday.

“We need to come out with the same mentality we had today,” Madeline Meagher said. “We need to hit the ball the way we did tonight and we need to come out with the same defensive attitude we came out with today.”

The Toppers will host a district runner-up at St. Rita, their home field, and Manual will travel to a district champion.

“We just need to believe,” Matt Meagher said. “I think during the season sometimes we didn’t believe, but now they believe they can win, and hopefully we can do that again. We’re going to have to play like we did tonight. It’s going to take our A game to compete at this level. We definitely have to have an A+ game to maybe get another victory along the way.”HarHa


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