Lady ‘Cats snap four game losing streak
The Basehor-Linwood softball team found a way to do what it has had trouble doing lately -- win a close game.The Basehor-Linwood softball team found a way to do what it has had trouble doing lately -- win a close game.
The Bobcats ended a four- game skid with a sweep of a home doubleheader against Perry-Lecompton, Tuesday, Apr. 22. They left little doubt in a game one rout, 8-1, but had to win the second game in the final at bat winning, 5-4.
Basehor-Linwood coach Susan Mayberry said her team came into the doubleheader more rested.
"It was important to get these wins," Mayberry said. "We've been working really hard lately. I think we needed the break. We had three days off for the holiday, and we had a light practice yesterday."
In game one, Basehor-Linwood took control early and never felt threatened.
Sophomore Jenni Vardijan hit what would eventually be the game winning hit in the first inning. With junior Terra Nichols on base, Vardijan hit a two-out, two-strike home run over the left field fence.
"Jenni's home run relaxed us," Mayberry said. "It was a nice swing. She was just trying to hit it hard. It was a beautiful swing, and we took it from there.
"It was nice to start the game and get the lead," she said.
From there, the Bobcat offense continued to put runs on the board with three runs in the second, two runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth.
On the mound, senior Abby Ross had another solid outing. She struck out nine and allowed four hits in seven innings. At one point, she retired 11 straight batters.
Vardijan was the offensive leader. Including her homerun, she was 2-3 at the plate with two runs and three RBIs.
Game two was close throughout, but a seventh inning rally put Basehor-Linwood over the top.
"It felt great," Mayberry said. "It's always exciting to have the wining runner at third with two outs and two strikes. It's exciting for the players to show themselves that they can get it done. We learned what it takes to win."
Going into the bottom of the seventh, Perry-Lecompton clung to a 4-3 lead.
Junior Nicole Kirk began the rally as the leadoff hitter with a hard hit single to right field.
A wild pitch allowed Kirk to move to third and closer to tying the game.
Nichols hit a grounder to the pitcher, but the pitcher was so occupied with Kirk that she let Nichols reach first on a fielder's choice. Kirk remained on third while Nichols reached first.
After Nichols stole second, two runners were in scoring position.
Senior Cristin Burnett was at the plate with a chance to knock in the tying run and possibly the winning run with a deep enough hit.
"I just thought, throw me a fat one so I can bust it," Burnett said.
Burnett busted it and tied the game. She hit the ball to the second baseman, who threw her out at first, but Kirk scored and Nichols moved to third.
Ross completed the rally by smashing a shot on a 0-2 count that rolled to the right field wall and gave the Bobcats a 5-4 win.
The win was more exciting for fans than the first game, but Burnett said she did not care how the team won.
"We're playing together," Burnett said. "We finally got over that hump. I'd rather just win, either way."
Freshman Kristal Holland pitched all seven innings. She allowed four runs on seven hits. She had six strikeouts.
Basehor-Linwood dropped two games to Piper at home, Thursday, Apr. 17.
The Bobcats lost he first game 3-0 and the second game 9-1.
"We came out playing passive," Mayberry said. "We have to step it up and improve our consistency.
"Piper is talented," Mayberry said. "You have to give them respect."
In the second game, the Bobcats were close to Piper until the fifth inning when Piper plated five runs. Piper scored three more in the sixth, putting the game out of reach.