Passion, family values will continue to drive Lake Region State Softball

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE – Kory Boehmer admired how his team navigated around the twists and turns that made up the 2022 season. 

Lake Region State's 2021-22 softball season came to an end on May 4.

This admiration, to Boehmer, could best be understood when looking at the entire 2022 picture. The Lake Region State Softball team, led by Boehmer, finished the season with a 13-21 record, including 6-6 in conference play. A collective .340/.399/.476 slash from the offense that the team could, at times, put the ball in play at a more than efficient rate. 

However, the up-and-down nature of the season and how his team responded to it cemented Boehmer’s admiration. After all, inconsistency from the starting pitching led to two separate occasions where the team dropped six consecutive games (Jan. 31-Feb. 12 and March 15-20) and conceded 78 and 50 runs over each stretch. 

But pitching wasn’t the only factor. Weather lulls directly postponing or canceling 18 separate games spanning from March 27 to May 1 prevented the Lady Royals from finding consistent playing time a regular softball schedule would provide. 

“I think we did as well as we could with the limited amount of time that we got on the practice field outside, and even with the rain and stuff, we had flooding in our hitting facility,” Boehmer said. “So, everything came stacked against us, but they still played hard. We had some late-season injuries and everything. So, I don’t know if there is anything that didn’t happen to us. It just seems that we experienced an awful lot of adversity, and they just kept on going. It was tough on them, but I think they did very well.” 

Fast forward to the Region XIII West Playoffs in Glendive, Montana, on May 3, and Boehmer’s admiration for his team continued to show itself. After the Lady Royals came up short against Miles Community College, 6-5, in the opening game – even after the Lady Royals initially started with a 5-0 lead one inning into the contest – the team went on to win two games in a row by a combined score of 15-5. 

“They [Miles Community College] were a good team,” Boehmer said. “They came out in that last inning, and they got a couple [of] hits that we almost caught. A foot here and a foot there, and they are not hits. They are outs, and the game is over. That is the way the game is. They just kept on going, and then we ran out of steam in the last game. I think that was just a little bit too much for the team. We didn’t have the experience all [of] April. We just didn’t have the game experience, and it was just tough to keep that up.” 

However, Lake Region State’s season came to an end after a rematch against Miles Community College failed to sway in their favor. 

A 9-1 loss to the team on May 4 didn’t prevent the Lady Royals from showing the one thing they showed from start to finish as they departed for home: familial connection. 

Boehmer isn’t immune to showing emotion, too. Although he tells himself every year that he will make it through the final speech to his team, he comes up just short. Nevertheless, Boehmer appreciates the grit and bond his team showed on and off the field. 

To Boehmer, it all comes back to one fundamental emotion: passion. 

“Every year is tough on me, but there is that opportunity,” Boehmer said. “You have good connections. Sometimes, I said it to some of my players. I catch myself coaching from the heart instead of coaching from the brain, and it’s hard to turn that switch. If you have passion, it’s tough not to do that when you really see what this kid has done and worked hard, and then you just sort of coach from the heart. I don’t think that’s a downfall of mine, but I know that I sometimes might coach a little bit too much.” 

With the 2022 season concluded, the Lady Royals look to next year and beyond. Of course, as a junior college, roster turnover is expected. However, that won’t stop the Lady Royals from showing that bond. 

If anything, it will only make it stronger. 

“Our long bus ride home could have been a sad one, but they still enjoyed the time together for basically one last time, five-and-a-half hours on the bus,” Boehmer said. “They were just a family. They are still close friends. There are 14-15 of them, and they were just basically enjoying the time. The last group together, I think, was a good team. That kind of showed what type of group they are.” 

John Crane is a sports/general assignment reporter for the Devils Lake Journal. Feel free to contact John via work phone (701-922-1372), cell  phone (701-230-4339), email (jcrane@gannett.com) or Twitter (@johncranesports) with any story ideas.