Peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, Steve Leanhart and Oldham County softball’s class of 2022. All dynamic combinations that have been getting the job done for years on end.

The latter duo took the field together for the last time in Oldham County’s 13-0 loss to Henderson County in the first round of the state tournament on June 4.

The game was Leanhart’s last prior to retirement, as well the Lady Colonels’ decorated class of seven seniors’ final time dawning blue and white for their county.

“I told the seniors that I’m going to go out with you guys, and I wanted them to play strong all the way through the postseason one more time,” Leanhart said. “It’s been so fun to coach, so fun to have the players I’ve had. This is like family. It’s hard to come to the end of something like this.”

After reaching the state tournament twice in Leanhart’s first three years at the helm, the Lady Colonels failed to capture a region championship each of the next four seasons until the class of 2022, led by six-year starters Kayley Batts and Madison Davis, rose up the ranks.

“Me and Madison had the opportunity to grow up playing softball together from a young age in Little League, then we got to go all the way through our high school careers together every step of the way,” Batts said.

The class – which also featured Ashlyn Becker, Kaleigh Boyd, Jordan Fico, Mak Grimes and Kate Pettit – went on to win three region championships while posting a record of 160-42 over the next five seasons, with a year lost COVID mixed in.

“I really would not trade these last six years for the world. I’ve had more success here than I ever thought I would coming in as a seventh grader,” Davis said. “I think we’ve left the program better. I hope we’ve left out mark on the younger girls, just showing them how to be leaders, be good teammates, never take a pitch off and go 110% every time you step on the field because it really goes by faster than you think it’s going to.”

In total, the Lady Colonels won 330 games during Leanhart’s 11-year tenure, including 11 district championships and the five region championships.

Batts and David acknowledged that the on-field successes were fun, but they agreed that the relationships they built within the program had a bigger impact on their lives than the scoreboard ever could.

“My favorite thing is the friendships that I’ve made with people I would’ve never met if it weren’t for softball because of age gaps or being in different groups,” Batts said. “I’m just so thankful for Oldham County softball. It’s given me some of my best friends, I’ve played under some great coaches and I’ve made lifelong memories I’ll always have.”

Though the program will undoubtedly miss the contributions of Leanhart, Batts, Davis and Co., the cupboard is far from bare going forward, as it looks to reload ahead of another run towards an Eighth Region championship in 2023.

“We’ve got three teams in the program, and new kids come up fresh,” Leanhart said. “They’ll rebuild and be strong next year, but they’re going to need to use some young players to do it.”

HENDERSON COUNTY 13, OLDHAM COUNTY 0

Henderson County   143 14 – 13

Oldham County        000 00 – 0

W – Kelsie Hill L – Mak Grimes 2B – Kaytlan Kemp 2 (H), JaMaya Byrum (H), Anna Willett (H), Hallie McCracken (H) 3B – Kendall Gaddie (O) Records – Henderson County 33-2, Oldham County 33-8