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Roncalli softball ‘on the biggest stage once again’

A sign at Roncalli's practice Thursday morning (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Roncalli High School softball team will be back in a familiar spot this weekend, competing for a state championship.

The Royals (31-3-1) are chasing the program’s third straight IHSAA 4A state title when they play Penn (27-4-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. EST. The game will be played at Purdue University’s Bittinger Stadium.

“Our goal wasn’t to three-peat going back three years ago,” said Roncalli softball head coach David Lauck. “Our goal was to try to make it to a state championship. But this group just keeps getting after it and competing. And so, here we are on the biggest stage once again.”

Having won the last two state championships, the Royals have had to play with a target on their backs throughout this whole season.

Senior center fielder Lyla Blackwell says her team feeds off that energy when there is that spotlight on the program.

“We do better when there’s a bunch of fans,” said Blackwell.

A sign of support for the Roncalli softball program was on the team’s dugout Thursday morning at practice. (WISH Photo)

Of course, seniors like Blackwell are hoping to end their high school careers with one more victory.

“I’m super excited, but it’s also very bittersweet for it to be my last game in a Roncalli uniform,” said Keagan Rothrock, Roncalli senior pitcher. “So, I’m just trying to take it all in right now and just have fun with the rest of this week.”

Roncalli lost to Penn 13-3 back in April.

The last softball team to win three straight state championships was New Palestine in 3A during 2017-19.