Twitchel’s bat sparks LHS softball
Nobody shot off fireworks following Lansing High's doubleheader softball sweep of Atchison on Tuesday night, but the Lions lit up the evening with their electrifying play.
Junior catcher Nichole Twitchel blasted two home runs, freshman Morgan Chiles smashed a four-bagger, senior pitcher Jessica Kane tossed a one-hitter in game one and junior pitcher Dana Sanders made numerous clutch defensive plays late in game two as the Lions won a pair on the road, 6-0 and 4-3.
The Lions clicked on all cylinders in their first game since placing third at state last year. Kane struck out six of the first nine batters she faced and flirted with a perfect game until allowing a lead-off single in the bottom of the third inning. The next three Atchison batters grounded out though, and the lone threat was thwarted.
"She struck out seven and didn't walk anyone," LHS coach Terry Cornett said of his senior pitcher who was equally dominant during her junior campaign when she posted an 11-3 record.
Kane was so solid that she didn't need much offensive support. Still, the Lions spoiled her with 10 hits and six runs, including a two-run blast by Twitchel in the fifth inning that pushed the lead to 5-0.
"Everybody in the lineup with the exception of one person got a hit in the first game," Cornett said. "We spread it out pretty good."
The second game was much tougher because Atchison's bats finally came alive. Junior pitcher Dana Sanders allowed seven hits as Lansing was challenged the entire way. Chiles ripped a deep solo home run in the third inning for the Lions' first run. Kane and Maggie Aus scored in the fourth and Twitchel crushed her second homer of the day in the top of the sixth that put LHS ahead for good.
"We played on a baseball field so the fence had to be 260 or 280 feet," Cornett said. "Both Morgan's and Twitchel's homers rolled to the fence. They were really good shots."
Two critical defensive plays by Sanders helped preserve the lead.
The Lions will play host to Mill Valley at 4:30 p.m. today at Lansing City Park in their home-opener. LHS dropped two one-run games to the Jaguars last year so Cornett said he expected this year's meeting to be equally difficult.
"That'll be a toughie," he said. "They beat us 2-1 and then we lost the other one 4-3, so we've got some scores to settle."