ABERDEEN, S.D. (KELO) — The West Central softball team has been no stranger to success, having won several state championships as a club sport. This year, in the first season of sanctioned action, the Trojans continued their reign in class ‘A’.

West Central opened the 2023 state tournament with back-to-back dominant wins over Beresford and Dakota Valley. All that stood in their way from a state title and an undefeated season was the Tea Area Titans.

“Tea brought a great season and they’ve been playing some great ball all weekend long and even in the second half of the season. They were well coached and our girls just kept doing what they do. One pitch at a time and one hit at a time, working the defense behind them and I’m really proud of them,” West Central coach Heather Harden said.

After grabbing an early 2-0 lead, the Trojans would double their score, thanks to a two run homerun from junior standout, Emillee Stofferahn.

“I was looking for a nice base hit, but when the pitch came, I knew it was right and I took it yard,” West Central junior Emillee Stofferahn said.

Stofferahn was also dominant on the mound throughout the tournament, but it was junior teammate Caitlyn Hoff who threw a complete game shutout in the championship.

“They pair well with each other and they kind of play off each other. I know I can put either one of them in the circle at any given time and I know they’ve got each other,” Harden said. “It’s amazing. They hit their spots, they work their spins and it’s really great to have.”

The Trojans went on to claim the 4-0 win over Tea Area, completing a perfect 22-0 season with the first ever class ‘A’ sanctioned state championship.

“We really had to push ourselves in practice every day and it really turned out to be something great. The championship is the same, the feeling is the exact same and it’s amazing,” West Central junior Caitlyn Hoff said.

“We’ve played with a target on our back all season and knowing that someone is out to get us and that we’ve just got to keep working hard for the next one,” Stofferahn said.

“To bring it home and make history for our school and for the state, it’s awesome,” Harden said.

West Central won six straight club state championships prior to this season.