Bobcats salvage split on Senior Night
Bonner Springs led the Basehor-Linwood softball team for the first 12 innings of their doubleheader, Monday, May 12.
Despite Bonner Springs' dominance for most of the night, Basehor-Linwood woke up in the last two innings of the second game to earn a split.
Bonner Springs won the first game 12-5, but the Bobcats used a sixth inning rally to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat, 7-6.
Adding to the significance of the game, the doubleheader marked the final time the seniors would play at home.
"We responded well in the second game," said Basehor-Linwood head coach Susan Mayberry. "We sent the seniors out the way we should have. It was a sensational win."
After five innings, Basehor-Linwood appeared to be out of chances after Bonner Springs extended its lead to 6-1.
Up to that point, even when something good was about to happen, Bonner Springs snuffed it out. In the bottom of the fifth, freshman Kristal Holland, who had hit a homerun in game one, smashed another deep shot with a runner on base.
Bonner Springs' left fielder reached high above the fence to rob Holland of her second home run of the night and ended the inning.
"That was pretty disappointing," Holland said. "I wanted that one pretty bad."
The sixth inning, however, would negate the previous five as the floodgates opened for the Bobcats, and everybody batted.
Junior Chelsea Flowers and senior Sarah Aldridge walked while junior Nicole Kirk hit a single to load the bases with one out.
Senior Cristin Burnett knocked in Flowers with a single to bring the score to 6-2.
Next at bat, junior Terra Nichols cleared the bases with a double making the score, 6-5, but she was thrown out going to third base.
With two outs and nobody on base, sophomore Amanda Hughes hit a single, and sophomore Jenni Vardijan knocked her in with a double, tying the game.
Holland had the game-winning hit when her single knocked in Hughes giving the Bobcats a 7-6 lead.
The Bobcats loved the comeback victory, but to do it against Bonner Springs made it sweeter. Players from the two teams know each other well creating a rivalry.
"We were too worried about winning, and we were making stupid mistakes," Nichols said. "We knew we had to come back against them. They're the only team we cared about beating."
Both Nichols and Burnett said they knew Bonner Springs players from summer leagues.
"We have bragging rights for the summer," Burnett said.
Holland pitched the second game giving up six runs on 10 hits while striking out four.
The first game was one the Bobcats might want to forget.
"The first game was full of errors," Mayberry said. "It might have been a little of the pressure from senior night, trying to be perfect."
They fell behind early, and a disastrous fourth inning doomed the team. After the top half of the fourth, Bonner Springs led, 10-1.
Basehor-Linwood picked up four runs in the inning including a two-run homer by Holland, but the Bobcats never threatened.
The double header ended the regular season. The regional tournament will start Monday, May 19.
With a record of 10-10, Mayberry said her team could be seeded as low as seventh in the eight-team bracket depending on the results of other games.
"Regionals is a whole new season," Mayberry said. "It's the old cliche. Records mean nothing. I still believe we can play with anyone. I know that for a fact."