Lions sweep Kaws, improve to 7-3
Lang fans 17 in nine-inning victory; Sanders mows down eight in nightcap
It's reasonable to believe the Lansing High softball team has the most dangerous 1-2 punch in the Kaw Valley League when it comes to pitching.
Freshman Brittney Lang and senior Dana Sanders each have thrown a no-hitter this season, and both have brought consistency to the mound.
Both were on their 'A' game Thursday as they fueled Lansing to a doubleheader sweep at Perry-Lecompton. Lang struck out 17 and tossed a two-hitter in a 2-1 victory in game one. Sanders fanned eight and scattered seven hits as LHS took game two 7-2.
Lansing struggled at the plate throughout game one and mustered just three hits. Lang was dominant, though, and that made all the difference. Perry plated its only run in the bottom of the first inning when the leadoff batter reached on an error and later scored. The Kaws threatened again in the second inning after back-to-back walks, but Lang worked out of the jam and was on fire the rest of the way.
Although the Lions struggled to get hits, they took advantage of every opportunity they got. Sanders smashed a second-inning double, stole third and later scored to tie the game at 1-1. The Lions struggled through strikeouts, ground outs and pop outs for the next six innings, but they never lost their poise. They continued to play with confidence, and that finally paid off in the top of the ninth when Lang earned a one-out walk. She then stole second, advanced to third on a ground ball and scored on an error. Then she headed back to the mound and retired the side in order to seal the victory.
The bats finally came alive for Lansing in game two, and that was necessary to overcome a shaky first inning. Perry benefitted from two errors, a triple and a single to take an early 2-0 lead, but LHS settled down after that. Sanders piled up the strikeouts and forced a number of ground balls during the next six innings. Perry didn't plate another run.
Meanwhile, the Lions got hot at the plate. After stranding two runners in the first inning and one more in the second, the Lions finally broke through in the third inning. Nichole Twitchel earned a two-out walk and came around to score when the Perry right-fielder made an error on a shot by Morgan Chiles.
Lansing tied the game in the fourth inning when Sanders ripped a leadoff single, advanced on an error, stole third and then scored on a single by Jasmine Holland. Two more runs scored in the fifth as Twitchel singled and then scored on a triple by Chiles. Chiles then crossed the plate on a double by Sanders. That put LHS ahead 4-2.
The Lions scored three insurance runs in the top of the seventh when Twitchel, Chiles, Jessica Stark and Sanders ripped four straight hits. Then Sanders returned to the mound and retired the side in the bottom of the seventh to seal the victory.
Twitchel and Chiles had three hits apiece in game two, and Sanders added two hits in the victory.
Lansing (7-3) next plays at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against Basehor-Linwood at Field of Dreams.