For just the second time in Marceline softball coach Todd Lowther's 17-year tenure, the Tigers are conference champions.

By defeating Knox County in their final regular-season game on Tuesday night, 12-2 in five inning, the Tigers claimed a share of the Lewis & Clark championship with reigning state champion Salisbury.

Salisbury defeated Fayette the same night, and the Panthers' only loss in the conference was to Marceline. The conference championship is decided only by final record and not head-to-head decision.

The Tigers also celebrated its seven seniors that evening.

"This group of seniors has meant a lot to our program since they came in as freshmen, and I've seen them grow and mature as human beings. On the field, they've gotten better every year, and they've put in a ton of hard work to make themselves as good as they can. I can't say enough good things about what they've done, and all the hard work has paid off with a conference championship.

"I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids, and hopefully they can make some waves in the district tournament."

Marceline begins district play on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m. in Trenton.