Multiple Teams · LHS Seniors Standouts Lead Lebanon’s quest to Repeat: Reprinted From Lebanon Reporter by Will Willems

May 19th 2017 Lebanon Reporter By Will Willems

Lebanon — Kassidi Cadle and Brooke Montgomery were the last two Tigers out of the dugout Thursday night, minutes after Lebanon topped Cathedral 11-7 in the regular season finale. As the seniors packed up their things, it didn’t seem any different than all of the other times they had done it after a game at Lebanon Middle School.  But this time was different, because it would never happen again. No matter what happens in the softball post-season, Cadle and Montgomery will never play at home as members of the Lebanon Tigers.  While there may have been better individual players to come through, an argument can be made that no tandem has meant more to the success of the Lebanon athletic programs. Montgomery has played 12 varsity seasons in three different sports (volleyball, basketball and softball), the last 11 with Cadle. Combined, they have a record of 234-66, a .780 winning percentage. They have gone 109-16 (.872) against Sagamore Conference foes. In their main sport, softball, they have helped lead the Tigers to a 92-10 record over four years, including 59-2 in the conference.  At home, they have gone 113-24, an .843 winning percentage. They have been a part of eight Sagamore Conference titles, five sectional titles, three regional titles, a semi-state and the school’s first state championship in 98 years. Montgomery said that it has been fun playing all three sports, and having her best friend alongside her has helped bring out her best.  “I honestly love it,” Montgomery said. “In college, I would love to play all three again if I could. But the big thing for us is that she always had my back, and I have hers. If something goes wrong, I always go to her, and I think that is why were are successful, because we understand and trust each other.”   Both girls said they really haven’t had a time to sit back and reflect on their four years, especially during the season.  But they are aware that at this point, any game could be their last at Lebanon and want to make sure that it doesn’t happen for another couple of weeks.  “We understand that it is coming to an end, but we try not to think about it,” Cadle said. “We try to play every game as hard as we can, do as well as we can and see our teammates succeed. We are just trying to stay positive and keep it going.”  For Montgomery, she said that it really hasn’t settled in that she has at most seven more games at Lebanon.  She added that the pride she feels putting on the uniform every time she stepped on the court or field. “It means the world to me,” Montgomery said of putting the Lebanon uniform on before games. “I love this school, and I wouldn’t have wanted to go to any other high school. I love this school and I love high school. I love all the girls I play with too, so I am not ready for it to be over.”  Both players are having tremendous final seasons for the Tigers, who sit 18-4 and are ranked third in the latest poll in Class 3A.  The are 1-2 in batting average, hits, runs, RBIs and stolen bases.  Cadle is batting .549 with 45 hits, 36 runs scored and 29 RBIs. Montgomery is batting .519 with 42 hits, 33 runs scored and 28 RBIs. Montgomery is second on the team with nine doubles, with Cadle adding seven. Combined, they have made just three errors on 104 chances, a .971 fielding percentage.  “We are trying to make the most of it,” Montgomery said. “We have rocked the left-side (of the infield) and we have always liked doing that. We try not to let any ball get passed us. We have fun with it, we have certain hand signals we do and I will definitely miss her.”   They are getting good help as they head into the sectional.  Payge Redman is batting .452 with 22 RBIs and three home runs. Twin sister Payten is batting .400 with 24 runs scored and 20 driven in.   Of the eight Tigers that have at least 50 plate appearances, all are batting .298 or above and six are batting above .340. Montgomery and Cadle are the only two seniors that get significant playing time, and head coach Shane Britt said their leadership has been instrumental in the other players on the team raising their games.  “I take a lot of pride in that,” Montgomery said of being a leader. “Kassidi and I just teach them what we know. The main thing is making sure that we stay positive, because if you do that, you are going to have a good chance at success.”  Both players know that regular season success is great, but the toughest games are ahead of them.  When asked what games stuck out in their minds as their favorite, Cadle quickly answered last year’s regional game against New Palestine, where the Tigers took down the top-ranked Dragons en route to the state title.  Montgomery’s favorite game was a week and a half later, when the Tigers finally won it all after years of being so close.  Both girls plan on doing everything they can to get back to that point, starting with North Montgomery in the sectional quarterfinal on Monday night, to leave an even bigger legacy at Lebanon.  “That would be ideal, to go back to the state championship and win,” Montgomery said. “I just hope we go as far as we can and have fun doing it.” Cadle said the Tigers are in a good place heading into the sectional.  “It would mean a lot to go out on top,” Cadle said. “We are hoping to make the same run. It would mean a lot especially for Brooke, Chelsea (Howe) and I to go out with a bang. We are hoping that will happen again. I think everybody has that mindset that we can do it. We had that mindset last year because we knew how good we could be if we played our game.”