Three Aquinas Catholic grads took to the diamond for one final time representing the black and gold.
Valerie and Vanessa Bohuslavsky and Sierra Meysenburg were part of the annual Central Community College-Columbus All-Star Softball Game played on July 18 on the campus in Columbus.
The trio of Monarchs were part of the winning side as the White Team swept the Black Team 7-5 and 6-1.
It was perhaps the perfect way to end careers for three players that have been instrumental in rewriting the school record books and bringing the program sustained success over the past four years.
"Collectively, this was a really productive group of girls. Those three specifically but also the other seniors on the team last year. We had six seniors, and they were really all productive players and all good leaders in their own way," coach Paul Gahan said. "Those three that played in the All-Star game, were three of the best players that we've had come through the program.
"That's evident by all the school records that they've broken. I think together they've broken about 12 school records between them. That's a lot of productivity to try and replace."
Gahan and his assistant coach Maggie Gahan made up the White Team coaching staff, giving the three players and two coaches one last time together in the dugout.
Aquinas fell short of state with a 1-2 showing in the district tournament last year but finished 22-10 overall. It was the best record in program history and the most wins in a season for the nine-year old program.
Valeria and Vanessa as well as Meysenburg were three big reasons why.
Meysenburg was a First-Team All-State selection by the Lincoln Journal Star who broke three school records and smashed 11 home runs in a season.
Valerie was Honorable Mention All-State, controlling things behind the plate as the Monarchs' starting catcher. Gahan called her an "outstanding hitter and fierce competitor." She finished her career with three school records.
Vanessa was also All-State Honorable Mention, putting together a 19-4 mark in the circle while setting six school records. She'll continue her softball career at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.
"They were great kids, well-rounded girls, very good students, active in school, active in the church, in the community, really just well-rounded girls," Gahan said. "They were so easy to coach. They made me look pretty good a lot of times. It was a lot of fun. We're going to miss those girls."
All three were immediate contributors from the time they first stepped on the varsity field as freshman and advanced Aquinas softball from 14-17 in 2015 to 17-9 and 16-13 before this year's 22-10 mark.
"Every day at practice, the girls were positive. They took softball seriously, but yet had fun along the way and tried to show the other players on the team how to have fun as well," Gahan said. "It made for good chemistry."
"They showed the younger girls how to compete, how to have fun and how to be a good teammate. Hopefully the younger girls have taken some notes and learned from those three."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net.