JUNIOR LEAGUE SOFTBALL: Mendota wins state championship

Members of the Mendota Junior League softball team celebrate after defeating Pike County 9-2 in the state championship game Tuesday in Orion. Mendota advances to the Central Region Tournament in Pendleton, Ind. on Friday.

ORION — The streets of Mendota had a long line of cars with bright lights and even louder horns at midnight today to celebrate the Junior League softball team.

The parade welcoming the team into town was justified.

On Tuesday, Mendota dominated the state tournament as it defeated Colona 11-1 in five innings in a semifinal and went on to beat the defending state champions, Pike County, 9-2 in the state championship.

“This is what it’s all about. It’s about the girls and turning them into young women,” Mendota coach Larry Klema said. “They’ll remember this forever. I love these kids. It’s like having 13 daughters and they get to go home at night. I don’t have to feed them.”

Shortstop Katie Jenner and pitcher Ryleigh Sondgeroth didn’t have many words to describe the feeling of being state champions, but their beaming smiles said it all.