SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When you’re a senior student-athlete, one thing is likely at the top of your mind … graduating as a state champion.
The three seniors of the Wahama softball team achieved just that.
Bailee Bumgarner, Lauren Noble and Tori Sigman ended their careers at the top when the Lady Falcons defeated the Petersburg Lady Vikings 4-3 Thursday afternoon to win the WVSSAC Class A Softball Championship, capping off a 29-2 2022 campaign.
Noble and Bumgarner achieved the feat twice, with Wahama also winning states during the 2021 season.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Bumgarner said. “With this happening and graduation being tomorrow, there’s a lot of emotion going around right now.”
The Lady Falcons accrued a record of 56-2 during their state championship-winning seasons, going a perfect 6-0 during state tournament play.
The only losses Wahama had taken during this time were to the 2021 AAA champion Cabell Midland Lady Knights and the 2022 AA runner-up Winfield Lady Generals.
“It feels really awesome being a champion,” Sigman said. “I’m proud of what we were able to achieve this season.”
Noble was a big offensive weapon for the Lady Falcons, getting three runs, four hits and five RBIs over Wahama’s three games of the state tournament, including a solo home run in game one against the Midland Trail Lady Patriots.
All in all, Noble was pretty happy with her tournament performance.
“I think I did pretty good,” she said. “This field is an extra 20-feet longer than what we’re used to, so I was surprised to have one go over the fence. I kind of struggled in the other games but I got hits when I needed to.
Noble also said she couldn’t think of a better way to end her senior year than as a state champion.
“It’s the best possible way to end my senior year,” she said. “You can say we went out with a bang and I will never forget a moment I spent on the softball field.”
While Sigman has only spent one year with the team, she said they didn’t hesitate in welcoming her.
“They’ve treated me really well,” she said. “They brought me in and treated me like I had been there all along.”
Noble said the team had become something like a second family to her.
“We’re definitely a family,” she said. “We work together better than any other team I’ve been a part of and that is the reason we’re so successful.”
Bumgarner echoed the sentiment, saying her team is always supportive of her and she makes sure to return the favor.
“My gosh, we have each other’s backs more than anything” she said. “We are just so happy for one another and we’re more of a family than a team. Nothing can ever top this.”
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100