NIMMONSBURG — Perhaps two or three years down the road, it might be remembered as a starting point.
For close to three decades as it applies to Class D softball in Section Four, there might just as well have been sign reading: No Tri-Valley League teams beyond this point.
Seventh-seeded Richfield Springs ignored that imaginary sign this season and though the Indians were on the wrong end of a 9-0 outcome to a fundamentally-sound unit from Deposit in Saturday’s Class D final, they might have signaled the start of better things to come for T-V softball squads.
Deposit continued the Midstate Athletic Conference/Susquenango Association’s stranglehold on Class D softball. Since 1995, Afton or Deposit has represented Section Four in the state playoffs.
“The MAC is a conference of champions and has been for a long time,” Richfield Springs coach Jay Lehmann said following his team’s loss on a sun-splashed afternoon at the BAGSAI Complex. “Just being a Tri-Valley League team and getting here shows that the Tri-Valley League has come a long way.”
Fifth-seeded Deposit demonstrated Saturday that Tri-Valley League teams still have a ways to go, but the conference was represented in the championship game for the first time since the Reagan administration.
Though clearly outclassed by the Lumberjacks, it wasn’t a day that went without highlights for the Indians.
RS center fielder Heather Federow made a pair of running catches in left-center in the second inning, the latter denying Haley Linkroum of an extra-base hit.
In the third inning with a runner at second, Deposit’s Kate Tiffany lined a single into right. Right fielder Katie Bond relayed to second baseman Meghan Cantwell, who threw home to Emma Miner in time to get Shelby Pettersen at the plate.