Mollenkopf and Harness anticipate State Finals 2023

Caston seniors Bailey Harness and Kinzie Mollenkopf helped the Comets reach the softball tournament this spring.

The team’s only two seniors attended Wednesday’s Comets Block Party at the high school.

They celebrated Saturday’s Comets semi-state title at Frankfort.

Caston (22-4) faces Tecumseh (24-9) in the Class A state championship game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Bittinger Stadium at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

State champion Tecumseh returns eight starters

“I just feel that if we go and just play our game that we’ve been playing and we play as one that we’ll compete very, very well,” Mollenkopf said. “We just competed this tournament. And just play like it’s not going to be our final game—well, it is our last game—but like it’s not.”

The Comets believe they can challenge any team in the state. They’ve won 16 straight games since April 22 in the Kokomo Tournament, where they defeated Westfield 1-0.

Harness added, “I think we will be fine if we just keep playing as we have been. “Like Kinzie said, we’re a great group and I think we work well together, so I think we’ll be okay.”

Last year’s Comets were likely state champs. They’ve improved this year and are playing their finest softball.

Harness stated they’ve improved with age

“I think that’s because we’ve all grown up together playing all three sports. “I think we’ve finally meshed,” she remarked.

The Comets overcame their latest sectional hurdle. They ultimately beat three or four top 10 softball teams in their sectional.

No regrets. The regional champions defeated Fremont 20-1. The semi-state champions defeated Kouts 9-0 and Cowan 5-3.

After the semi-state, the Comets took a bus tour of the state’s largest school system, Caston.

Logansport, Fulton, Twelve Mile, Grass Creek, Kewanna, and Rochester were visited.

“It was really nice to see everyone who supports us on the sides just supporting us and screaming and were as excited as we were on the bus,” Harness added. A long drive. We were exhausted.”

Twelve Mile’s Harness and rural Logansport’s Mollenkopf.

In the triumph over Cowan, Harness made a potentially season-saving grab in center field for the second out of the eighth.

Her senior year, she’s hitting.301 with two homers, eight doubles, 11 RBIs, and 20 runs.

She will study occupational therapy at IUK

Saturday’s pitcher is Mollenkopf. Saturday’s semi-state games saw her record 40 of 42 outs.

16-2, 2.83 ERA. 108 innings, 181 strikeouts, 20 walks.

Mollenkopf is also hitting well. She hits.552 with nine home runs, 12 doubles, 42 RBIs, and 33 runs.

Huntington University will be her softball and business management home.

She enjoyed the tournament run into State Finals week.

She said it was amazing to watch the community join together and act as one family. “But it’s really just showing through the game we love to play and the family we’ve created in this community.”

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