Lang tosses no-hitter against Bonner Springs
Freshman fans 15, walks two in first prep no-no
Lansing High softball coach Terry Cornett chuckled when recalling the third-inning conference he had on the mound with pitcher Brittney Lang on Thursday night.
Lang, in just her third appearance on the mound as a high school player, had been having her way with Bonner Springs batters up to that point, but then she'd walked two. It turned out the Braves were trying to throw off Lang's rhythm, because she tends to work fast.
Cornett sensed his star freshman was growing frustrated, so he visited the mound for a quick chat.
"I know I kind of irritated her when I went out there and said something," Cornett said. "But after that, she struck out the side in the fourth, two in the fifth, two in the sixth, and then she struck out the side in the seventh."
In all, Lang struck out 15 batters and walked two. The end result was a 4-0 victory and Lang's first no-hitter at LHS. Lansing also won game one by a 4-0 score.
"It was just a matter of time," Cornett said of Lang's no-no.
It turned out, Lang may not have been too irritated with the batters stalling so much. Instead, he said Lang may have simply been focused on trying something new. She'd been practicing a screwball to add to her repertoire.
"She knows her ability and what she can do and her limits probably far better than I do," Cornett said. "She was doing some things yesterday that will make her better down the road."
Lang was dominant on the mound Thursday, but the rest of the Lions also turned in an all-around stellar performance.
Senior pitcher Dana Sanders was solid in the opener as she struck out eight and allowed just three hits. Two of those hits came in the last inning. Meanwhile, the Lions pounded eight hits of their own, but they struggled to string enough of them together to generate many runs.
"It seemed like we were hitting the ball, but things just didn't materialize," Cornett said.
The Lions (4-2 overall, 1-1 Kaw Valley League) got on the board when they plated two runs in the second inning. The first scored on a balk and the second on a base hit. They upped the score to 4-0 in the fourth inning when Jessica Stark, Sanders, Lang and Sara Logan recorded consecutive hits. Lang's double plated Stark, and Sanders scored on Logan's base hit.
The bats were just warming up. They carried over into game two as Lansing pounded 13 hits of support for Lang.
"I knew if we got a run or two, that would probably stand pretty well for us," Cornett said.
Although the Lions hit the ball consistently, they didn't score until the third inning when they took a 1-0 lead. They plated three more runs in the fourth, though, as they recorded five straight hits. After that, Lang took care of the rest.
Cornett said he was pleased with both of his pitchers' strong performances, but he was most thrilled with the hitting from the bottom part of the lineup. Sanders, Lang, Logan, Jasmine Holland, and Kasey Denney all consistently delivered hits to spark the offense.
"The bottom part of our order is really coming through," Cornett said. "They're really getting the job done."
Cornett also praised Denney and Amanda Darrow for their improvement as slap hitters, and he complimented senior Nicole Holland for making solid contact during every at-bat against Bonner. In game two, she went 3-for-4 at the plate and the lone non-hit was a line-drive right back to the pitcher.
Stark, Sanders and Lang all had two-hit performances in game one. In game two, Lang, Denney and Jasmine Holland each had two hits and Nicole Holland had three hits.
Lansing next plays at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against Santa Fe Trail at Lansing City Park.