ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –The long bus trip to Syracuse, New York and back was more than worth it for the Rock Valley College softball team. The Golden Eagles won the school’s seventh consecutive national championship there Sunday. Monday afternoon they returned home.
They arrived on campus shortly after 2:30 p.m.. A group of family members, friends, faculty members and coaches from other sports teams were on hand to greet them.
The Golden Eagles finished the season with a record of 51-7. They dominated their competition at Nationals winning their four games by a combined score of 57-3.
“It felt really, really good especially being ranked number two the majority of the season,” said outfielder Trinity Fry. “It felt really good to go and like dominate not only the national tournament but our whole entire postseason.”
RVC pitcher Ashton Melaas was impressed with the way the Golden Eagles locked-in on their goal in Syracuse. “Everyone, the energy there was intense. It was insane. Our whole team brought it.”
“Being able to be part of this group and compete for a seventh straight national title it means more than I could ever imagine,” said RVC catcher-outfielder Kirstin Fudge a Harlem graduate.
There were lots of hugs and a few tears as the girls said good-bye to each other. Who knows when or if they’ll ever be together again as a team. They know they’ve played their last game together.
“It’s impossible to say good-bye,” said Fudge. “Hopefully I won’t have to because I know that these girls are going to be my friends for life.”
“It’s very hard,” said Melaas. “It’s a great group of girls. I’m going to miss them a lot, but I know that we’ll always stay in touch.”
“We had to do team-bonding skills over the phone just to get to know each other, and now we’re on the bus bawling because we have to leave each other,” said Fry. “It was a complete turnaround. Every single one of them bought into what this program is about and got our school a seventh national championship.”