WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Vernon Kaos 12U softball team took home a big-time title this month, winning a Texas state title in Frisco!
The Kaos went 5-1 in the Texas NIT Championships July 8-9 defeating, ironically, the Oklahoma Venom in the finals.
"It was awesome," said Tommy Love, one of their coaches. "They're such a really good group of girls."
"It was exciting," said catcher Enia Love. "I'm glad that everyone worked together and at the end, we're all glad that we won."
Coach Love told us the core of the team has been playing together since they were in the second grade, but they had to add a few new players this year. He said getting the chemistry to come together was the biggest key.
"All of our core group are all from Vernon," he said. "The three new girls, two were from Henrietta and one was from Iowa Park, and so they didn't really know the girls. And it just took them a little while, I think, to get to know each other."
"It was fun, they're really nice," said Enia. "They're pretty easy to get along with, and it's just fun playing with them."
"We all like each other," said shortstop Lilly Woodard. "So that's always good."
Tommy told us that all of the parents of the new girls told him how welcome they felt with the team. He said he was proud to see them all come together.
"It was really, really exciting to see the girls put in the work that they put in, do the things that they do, and come out with a really big, nice ring at the end of the day," he said.
Of course, softball success has been a trend this year in Vernon, with the VHS Lady Lion softball team coming off a run to State that has inspired some of the Kaos girls to aim high when they get to the varsity level in a few years.
"I just hope we make it as far as Vernon did," Lilly said."I mean, they made it to State. They were gonna win one, but I hope we make it that far."
"The girls that are in the Vernon High School program right now, they were actually the ones that started doing this, years ago, what we're doing," Tommy said. "Those girls are just now getting up to the high school level, and you can see that it paid off by them making an appearance in the state championship this year."
"I want to be able to get where they are," Enia said. "And maybe even farther."
Nine of the Kaos players have been named to the All-Texas team, and will play in the USSSA All-Star Game next month in McKinney.
"That'll be a neat experience for them," Coach Love said. "It's a big honor to be named all-state, and just to get to play on a team with other girls and see how it works for other teams, too. I think it'll be a really neat experience for them."
Lilly and Enia are two of those players, and both were excited to get the news.
"I was happy," Lilly said. "My dad told me, and I was like, 'I really made it?' I expect us to do good. With all of the other girls that I've never met, it's gonna be fun."
Enia said she was left speechless by the news: "I was excited. It was too much for me to bring in. I was just really happy."
Coach Love said the 9 girls will be split up among 3 different teams, so they'll get a chance to play with some new teammates. The USSSA 12U All-Star games are August 5 in McKinney.