Lady ‘Cats cruise into second round
Shut out lands Basehor-Linwood in regional semifinals
In Basehor-Linwood's opening round regional softball game, the first four innings began the same way offensively for the Bobcats.
Fortunately for the Bobcats, the last two of those four innings ended differently than the first two, and Basehor-Linwood escaped with a 4-0 victory against host Bishop Ward Tuesday, May 20.
In those four innings, the leadoff batters reached base, and the second batters laid down sacrifice bunts to move the runners to second base. Unlike the first two innings, however, the Bobcats received some additional offense in the third and fourth innings.
"We were ready to play today," said Basehor-Linwood head coach Susan Mayberry. "We came up with some clutch hits. This time we had the big hits that we did not always have at points during the season, but it's that time of year.
"As a coach you like to see that," she said. "At the end of the season, you want to be playing your best. You have to play like there is no tomorrow, because if you lose, there isn't."
The third inning was the game breaker for the Bobcats, and they did it all with two outs and nobody on base after Bishop Ward threw out a base runner.
Junior Terra Nichols led the rally off when the Bishop Ward pitcher hit her for the second time. Nichols stole second base, and sophomore Amanda Hughes smashed a single, knocking Nichols home.
A walk by sophomore Jenni Vardijan put runners on first and second base when freshman Kristal Holland nailed a double to knock in the two runners.
The three-run third inning proved to be enough, because Holland was also causing Bishop Ward troubles from the mound. Mayberry praised her performance after the game, but while Holland enjoyed the victory, she was not as impressed with her own pitching.
"I didn't do my best," Holland said. "I can pitch faster than that."
Holland gave up no runs, three hits and two walks while striking out three.
"As a team, we did really good," she said. "We played together as a team and did what we needed to win."
The Bobcats picked up another run in the fourth inning when senior Cristin Burnett singled, knocking home freshman Morgan Hale. The run gave the Bobcats a 4-0 lead that would wind up being the final score.
As the No. 5 seed in the bracket, Basehor-Linwood improved to 11-10 on the season and earned a chance to play No. 1 Piper (20-1).
The two teams played in the semifinals Wednesday, May 21, but the results were not available at press time. The winner moved on to the championship game later that night for a chance to go to state.
Despite facing a formidable opponent, junior Nicole Kirk said the team's performance against Bishop Ward gave the team confidence.
"We played as well as we could," Kirk said. "We came together to get the job done. At times during the season, we didn't do that. We didn't play focused or as a team, but we brought it together today. Today's game made us excited. We're pumped up and ready to play."
State softball is in Mulvane, May 30-31.