LHS softball splits with Basehor-Linwood
Kane, Sanders sparkle on the mound during twinbill
The Lansing High softball team didn't get the sweep of Basehor-Linwood that it desperately wanted Tuesday night, but the Lions left Lansing City Park with plenty of reasons to feel better about the way they're playing softball.
For one thing, they won the first game 1-0 in eight innings despite facing Kristal Holland, one of the top pitchers in the Kaw Valley League. Then, when they lost the nightcap 3-2 in eight innings they continued to show more focus and intensity than in their first eight games of the season.
The Lions (4-6 overall, 2-2 KVL) struggled to make contact against Holland for most of game one. Nichole Twitchel's second-inning double was their only hit until Twitchel led off the seventh with a single. Morgan Chiles also added a base hit that inning.
Fortunately for LHS, senior pitcher Jessica Kane brought her best performance of the season and was equally daunting as she allowed just one run and five hits in eight innings of work. She rounded out her final line with 10 strikeouts.
Although it had just three hits in game one, Lansing capitalized on two eighth-inning errors by Basehor to put the game away. First, senior Emma Hoagland reached base on an error by the Bobcats' center fielder. The next batter was senior Nicole Holland who attempted to lay a bunt down the third base line. The Basehor third baseman scooped it up and doubleclutched on her throw to second for a force out. The throw sailed well over the head of the second baseman and also cleared the center fielder. As a result, Hoagland raced all the way around from first and scored easily for the game-winning run.
"That's the game that really counts as far as conference standings," LHS coach Terry Cornett said, expressing his satisfaction with the Lions earning the league victory.
Basehor scored two quick runs in game two off of defensive errors, but the Lions quickly settled down behind a confident pitching performance by junior Dana Sanders. Sanders was almost as untouchable as Kane, but there wasn't enough offensive support to recover from the early errors.
LHS pulled within 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Maggie Aus reached base on an error and later scored on a single down the left-field line by Chiles. The Lions then tied the game in the bottom of the seventh as Chiles smashed a leadoff double down the left field line that was about three feet shy of clearing the fence. Senior Michelle Mitchell advanced Chiles to third as she slapped a base hit just over Kristal Holland's head. Freshman Sara Logan - who was called back up to the varsity squad late in the game after an injury to Nicole Holland - bunted her way aboard and loaded the bases. Aus then ripped a run-scoring single. Mitchell rounded third and appeared headed for home, but Cornett waved her back to third where she was tagged out in a bang-bang play to end the inning.
Basehor capitalized on a fielding error to get its leadoff runner aboard in the top of the eighth. That run proved to be the game-winner because LHS stranded Twitchel at second in the bottom of the eighth.
LHS next plays at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Bishop Ward.
For more coverage of Lansing High softball, pick up the April 28 edition of The Current. For photo galleries from the Lions' varsity and junior varsity softball games against Basehor-Linwood, check lansingcurrent.com on Thursday morning.