Lady ‘Cats struggle through 0-3 week
Things seemed so easy for the Basehor-Linwood softball team in its first game this season. The Lady Bobcats took on Blue Valley Northwest and dropped the 6A juggernaut 10-0 in five innings. But since then Basehor-Linwood has won just one game and lost five, including four losses against Kaw Valley League teams.
In their defense, the KVL teams they've lost to, Mill Valley, Tonganoxie and Santa Fe Trail, are some of the more athletic and skilled squads around. But as Tuesday's losses to SFT unfolded, there was some obvious frustration on the part of the Bobcats.
Game one against the Chargers was tough almost from beginning to end, as BLHS lost 9-1. Lead-off hitter Maggie Schroeder scored the only run for the Bobcats and it was unearned. Schroeder singled to center, stole second, and scored when Codi Schierbaum bunted and the Chargers threw the ball into right field.
The Chargers took the lead with two runs in the third and held it the rest of the way. They scored two more in the six and put the game out of reach with four in the seventh.
The slate was wiped clean for game two, but didn't stay that way very long. The Chargers got a run in the first and added two more in a second inning that saw the BLHS frustrations boil over. Schierbaum, who was catching, threw to third to try and nail a stealing runner. The ball got by Kara Douglas at third and, after some prompting from the SFT third base coach, the umpire ruled that the ball had rolled into the BLHS dugout. That call, which ruled the ball out of play, gave the runner home plate and caused an outburst of dissent from the BLHS coaches.
After several innings of watching pitcher Kristal Holland struggle with a strike zone that they felt was inconsistent, the call seemed to be the last straw for the Basehor-Linwood coaches. Head coach Susan Mayberry managed to restrain herself, but assistant Mary Nutter was up in the umpire's face and ended up thrown out of the game.
"When you work as hard as we do and Kristal works so hard on her pitches and location, we can get out of rhythm," Mayberry said of the frustrations with the umpiring. "But we've just got to focus on what we can control."
After Nutter's ejection, things only got worse for the Bobcats. The Chargers' bats were certainly electric, as they added another five runs in the fifth inning on four hits, two walks and an error. The inning was disastrous for the Bobcats, putting them behind 8-0.
Still, BLHS didn't quit. In their half of the fifth the Bobcats' bats suddenly came alive. It started with a home run to right-center by Douglas. By the time the inning ended, the Bobcats had batted around and scored five runs on six hits, five of which went for extra bases. Basehor-Linwood had struggled offensively all night, but the blast by Douglas seemed to boost the entire squad. .
"It sparked a rally, one hit and it opened the gates," Mayberry said. "I've been around long enough to know that hitting is contagious."
Unfortunately for the Lady 'Cats, some of their hitting rubbed off on their opponents. The Chargers got an RBI triple in the sixth and the girl who hit it scored when the Bobcats committed an error trying to throw her out at third.
If they had stayed within 8-5 a comeback might have been more possible for the never-say-die Bobcats, but the task was too tough down 10-5. That ended up being the final score in what was the Lady 'Cats' third straight loss. They also lost 6-2 to Tonganoxie last week in a game that was shortened by rain.