LAND O’ LAKES — It has been a wide range of emotions in the last several days for Academy at the Lakes’ softball program.
Coming off winning the Class 2A state championship against Mount Dora Christian 10-0 just a few days ago, the Wildcats completed their goal of going back-to-back state crowns.
They also saw pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl win her second consecutive Gatorade Player of the Year award, given to the state’s top softball player. The school also announced that coach Diane Stephenson, who has overseen the Wildcats two championship squads, has stepped down as the softball coach.
Kilfoyl won the award for the second straight year in a row and for good reasons. The University of Alabama commitment helped lead Academy at the Lakes to its second straight state title and had 134 strikeouts to go with her 12-1 record and 0.48 earned run average. She was also a menace at the plate and batted .562 with 37 runs driven in and 12 home runs.
Stephenson compiled an impressive record of 65-14 during her time with Academy at the Lakes and led the program to three straight district championships along with three straight region final appearances. The former University of Indiana coach stepped in at AATL and immediately made a difference for the Wildcats’ program.