Lady Lightning lay down the thunder

A youth traveling softball team is gearing up for the 2021-22 seasons. The Lady Lightning offer a chance to play against tough competition, while developing camaraderie and relationships.


August 5, 2021 - 9:44 AM

Lady Lightning team members are, front row from left, Maria Mendez, Kailyn Rodriguez, Bailey Sparks, Remingtyn Cookus, Makenzy Karns, Jayna Ivy and Keaunna Willard; second row, assistant coaches Aaron Cookus and Danny Rodriguez, Shaylee Karns, Bayleigh Scheibmeir, Brynna Ellis, Kinley Nelson, Danika Hill, Kinzley Fountain and head coach Kristi Rodriguez. Courtesy photo

The Lady Lightning, a traveling softball team, will not take much time to rest on its laurels.

Fresh off its recently completed season, which ended in July, the Lady Lightning squad is starting its fourth season this month.

Lady Lightning coaches address the players after a recent game.Courtesy photo

The 10-and-under squad has held tournaments and scrimmages in Iola and has put on a pitching clinic for beginners.

The Lady Lightning were formed by Iolans Danny and Kristi Rodriguez, with two goals in mind: to give softball players opportunity to ramp up their level of play against more challenging competition; and to learn a few life lessons along the way.

“We are a competitive team who works for the win, but it is so much more than just winning for us,” Kristi Rodriguez said in an email. “We have a lot of fun. Each member of our team has developed as an athlete, as a teammate, and as a young girl. The life-long friendships that develop on a travel ball team are simply irreplaceable.”

Lady Lightning players donned costumes for a Halloween-themed tournament last season. Team members are, front row from left, Keaunna Willard, Bailey Sparks and Bayleigh Scheibmeir; second row, Kinley Nelson, Remingtyn Cookus and Shaylee Karns; third row, Makenzy Karns, Kailyn Rodriguez, Maria Mendez, Jayna Ivy and Danika Hill; third row, coaches Aaron Cookus, Kristi Rodriguez and Danny Rodriguez.Courtesy photo

Rodriguez, who has played softball since she was 5, admits “softball is in my blood, and has been a big part of me. I have a true love for the game.”

To help defray costs, Lady Lightning has received help from several sponsors:  Noah’s Well Service, MawMaw & PawPaw Stafford, Linda Wiley, Fire Department Union, Barn

house Café, Dwight and Renee Martin, B&W Trailer Hitches, State Farm Insurance, Double A Hauling, Rookies, and Trust Point Insurance.

AS AN ASIDE, the Lady Lightning’s older squad held its first round of tryouts for the upcoming season Wednesday evening at Iola’s Riverside Park.

Another round of tryouts for those 14 and under is set for 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Iola Riverside Park’s Diamond 4. Hopefuls should bring gloves and cleats.