Chaotic ending steals the show in softball clash
Tuesday night, at Basehor's Field of Dreams, the one inning that wasn't played overshadowed the 13 innings that preceded it.
After watching the regularly scheduled doubleheader between Bonner Springs and Basehor-Linwood get washed away on Monday, the two teams returned to the field Tuesday determined to get the games in.
Because of a choir concert at Basehor-Linwood and a band concert at Bonner Springs, gametime was moved up an hour and a half and the first pitch was fired at 3 p.m. instead of 4:30 p.m.
For Basehor-Linwood, the clash was a part of Senior Night, an annual ceremony that honors past and present BLHS seniors. The sunshine and calm conditions created a perfect setting and the Lady Bobcats took full advantage, winning Game 1, 10-0 in five innings.
For Bonner Springs, the doubleheader marked the return of junior Sadie Kelly, the Bravettes' ace on the mound the past couple of seasons, who had missed the past two weeks because of a vacation and rainouts.
But neither of those storylines prevailed in the end, as fans, coaches, players and umpires were all fixated on the reason why the teams left the field after completing just six innings of play in Game 2, with the Bravettes leading 3-2.
Based on the terms of a deal drawn up by the school's athletic directors, Garold Baker and Joe Keeler, on Monday, the Bravettes and Bobcats decided to play until 6 p.m. but agreed that they wouldn't start another inning after 6 p.m. The bottom of the sixth inning began before 6 p.m. and ended at approximately 6:04 p.m. At that point, Keeler and Baker, who were standing behind the BSHS dugout, stepped onto the field and announced that the game was over. Chaos ensued.
The Lady Bobcats took the field to begin the top of the seventh inning but were called back to the dugout when the game was called. At that point, fans, coaches and players alike were struggling to find answers. Baker and Keeler were, as well.
"We didn't even know if (the state) would let us count the game," Keeler said.
Nothing was determined at the field and, as the teams headed for their buses, the decision about the game was still up in the air.
Keeler contacted the Kansas State High School Activities Association on Tuesday evening for help with the ruling and state officials made the call.
"The state said they have a ruling, when it's this late in the season, that once you get past five innings the game can count," Keeler said. "There was some confusion but if we would've had 10 more minutes it would've been a moot point."
As a result of the ruling, Bonner Springs was awarded the Game 2 victory, earning the Bravettes a split on the afternoon.
Basehor-Linwood, meanwhile, fell to 12-4 with the split but still managed to secure the No. 2 seed at next week's regional tournament.
"There was some miscommunication about what was going on," Baker said. "But we got it all worked out and everything's fine."