Switching sides: Barchak eager to throw for state champion Jaguars
Depth could be the hallmark of Blue Springs South’s reigning Class 4 state championship softball team as coach Kristi Williams prepares to defend her Jaguars’ back-to-back state crowns with a three-peat.
“We have so much depth at each position,” Williams said Friday morning after the Jaguars completed their second day of scrimmaging. “We’re even going to have a lot of depth at pitching, which is great since Addie (Lightner) graduated last year and Kierra (Goos) moved out of the school district.”
So South fans might be able to anticipate a new look on the mound in the form of the “Killer B’s” – former Blue Springs High School starter Bre Barchak and Bailey Brumley, whose bat and glove at first base have played such a key role in the back-to-back state titles.
Barchak’s family moved from the Blue Springs High District to the south side of town, and she is quick to point out, “I’m legal, my family moved to a great house in the South district and I’m going to play for South this year.”
When asked about all her purple and gold gear, she chuckled and said, “I’ve given it to all my friends at South. This was a family decision to move to a nicer house and I’m going to miss all my girls at Blue Springs.
“But now, I’m playing for South and I can’t thank Coach Williams and the girls for the way they have welcomed me. I wondered what it would be like to come over and play with the big crosstown rival, especially since they have won state the last two years, and it’s been great.”
South catcher Tori Bradley said she and her teammates made sure to welcome Barchak to her new home.
“We were all so excited when we heard Bre was coming to play with us,” Bradley said after doing a little manicuring around home plate following the scrimmage. “She’s a real consistent pitcher and she will help our team. I know I would rather catch her than try to hit off her.”
While Brumley has not had a role as a pitcher for the Jaguars, she has been the top pitcher for her summer league team. She said she is ready to serve any role Williams asks of her.
“Bre is a great pitcher and we’ve been working with 12 or 13 girls in our practices, so if they need me to pitch, I’m ready,” Brumley said. “But I’m mostly playing first base in the scrimmages and practices so we’ll see what happens.”
The Jaguars are one of the most explosive teams in the state – especially with the return of outfielder Elle Smith from a season out with a labrum injury – and Barchak said it will be nice to have those heavy bats supporting her this season.
“When I came over for my first practice, all the coaches and girls came over and made me feel right at home right away,” Barchak said. “I was wondering what it would be like to play for Coach Williams.
“She’s a tough coach, but she is a fair coach. She lets us go out and play and I like that. And I can’t believe the talent we still have after graduating some great players off last year’s team.
“Tori is a great catcher and we’ve already formed a bond, which is so important, and I already feel like I’ve always been a part of the team because everyone has been so welcoming.
“The only stress now is wondering if we are going to get to play this fall. So far, it looks like we are, and I hope that’s true because I can’t wait!”