Seniors help secure 1st league title
Lady ‘Cats claim KVL title with 10-0 win over Bonner
Tuesday night was special for Basehor-Linwood girls coach Susan Mayberry.
Senior Night festivities were preceded by a 10-0, five inning victory against Bonner Springs, a win that wrapped up the Lady Bobcats first ever KVL championship.
"As a coach all I want to do is provide an opportunity for the kids to enjoy the game and learn the skills of softball," Mayberry said. "It is their championship. I won't take the credit. I choose to give the credit to the kids because they are the ones that pitch and field and play. It is exciting for me as a coach to be able to watch them celebrate that."
The evening commemorated departing seniors Erin Shore and Laura Reed.
"Players like Erin often get taken for granted because she is such a solid role model," Mayberry told the crowd between games of the doubleheader. "She is simply amazing and keeps our team steady."
The focus then turned to Reed.
"Laura's an incredible leader," Mayberry said of her first baseman. "When it comes to integrity and character, Laura is second to none."
Reed was touched by the words.
"The whole leadership part I definitely learned from her," Reed said of her coach. "She has taught me everything that I know. From freshman year when she taught me that I have to keep my head up no matter what to this year showing me that I am a good leader and that I can push this team. I learned it all from her."
It was a bittersweet moment for Shore.
"It was really nice but it made us really sad," Shore said.
Terra Nichols was the only alum in attendance. Weather canceled the regularly scheduled game on Monday and made it difficult for more former players to show up.
Mayberry was still pleased with the event.
"It's great. It is always a great celebration," Mayberry said. "This year I think the emotions will come out during the banquet with these two."
Shore threw five shutout innings in the Game 1 win. She struck out five and walked two. The win ran her season record to 11-1 with a 3.11 ERA.
"Anytime you are in that 16-foot circle your job and your responsibility is to pitch and keep your team in the game," Mayberry said. "Erin has been able to do that. Her record stands for itself."
Shore was surprisingly critical of the performance.
"I think I pitched fairly well," she said. "I am kind of a perfectionist. I had a couple of walks that I shouldn't have had."
The senior pitcher was proud, however, that the team clinched the league title.
"I think it is really awesome because I don't think the softball team has ever had a league championship," Shore said. "It feels really good to be able to be a part of that."
Maggie Schroeder went 2-for-3 with a home run. She also scored three runs. Schroeder is now batting a team high .409.
Kara Douglas also went 2-for-3. She finished with a double and two RBIs. She is now batting .333 and has a team high five doubles.
Reed was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored. She also hit a double. Reed leads the team with a .557 on-base percentage.
The second game of the doubleheader didn't go as smoothly, as the Lady Bobcats lost, 3-2, in six innings in a game that ended in controversy.
With Bonner Springs leading 3-2 after six innings the game was called abruptly when athletic directors stepped onto the field and announced that the game was over because of choir and band concerts at both schools.
Based on the terms of a deal drawn up by the schools' ADs, 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.
Regardless of the controversial ending, the girls agreed that they hadn't played nearly as well in the second game as the first.
"In the first game, I think we did amazing with our hitting and fielding," Reed said. "Everything went smoothly. In the second game, I don't know if it was the whole event of Senior Day, but something wasn't right with our heads. Emotions are high because the girls are sad, but we need to keep our focus for the next couple of weeks."
Despite the league championship, Mayberry has contended all season that the postseason is where the team's focus should be.
"It's our first league title," Mayberry said. "But like I said before, we would rather finish fourth in the league and win regionals than finish first and get knocked out early. So we have our focus on that."
The Lady Bobcats, who will host a 4A regional, snagged the No. 2 seed and will play No. 7 De Soto in the first round at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 14.