Season-opening split gives Bobcat softball cause for optimism
In the season- and home-opener Monday, the Basehor-Linwood softball team displayed a flair for the dramatic.
Shelby Pierce stood at home plate, attempting to rally the Bobcats in the seventh inning against the Blue Valley Tigers.
A runner was on base. Pierce was down 0-2 in the count and the Tigers led 3-1.
The Blue Valley pitcher took her signs and then went into her motion. As Pierce waited, she expected a change up. The pitcher, though, grooved a fastball and Pierce drilled a home run over the center field fence.
“After I hit it, I watched it land before I rounded the bases,” she said.
Coach Susan Mayberry said it was a big-time hit for her junior pitcher, and also showed the team’s resiliency to be able to rally after trailing most of the game.
The home run tied the game 3-3 and forced extra innings.
Blue Valley scored a run in the top of the eighth inning to take the lead.
Basehor-Linwood failed to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Pierce started the game at pitcher and took the loss for the Bobcats.
She recorded numerous strikeouts, and was effective at pitching out of situations where multiple runners were in scoring position.
After the loss, Basehor-Linwood rebounded with a 13-3 victory in six innings against Blue Valley North in a unique doubleheader that pitted the Bobcats against two different Class 6A teams from the East Kansas League.
Pierce’s late home run in the first game propelled the Bobcats in the second game.
Trailing 2-0 in the third inning, the Bobcats scored five runs on six hits. The team’s first two runs occurred on close plays at the plate.
Brooke Redmond scored from third base on a ground ball by Megan Rehm that was hit softly to the pitcher. Redmond slid underneath a tag.
A batter later, Olivia Cowan scored on a bunt. The Bobcats also received an RBI single from Caylee Smith. Pierce also knocked in two runs with a triple in the inning.
Basehor-Linwood scored three more runs in the fourth inning by Hannah Tush, Cowan and Rehm.
Smith had a two-run double in the inning.
Blue Valley North scored a run in the top of the fifth, but BLHS put the game away with five more runs in the sixth inning.
Cowan started the run parade in the sixth with a walk. She later scored. Also scoring were Rehm, Smith, freshman Courtney Leive and Tara Chumley.
Mayberry said she was pleased with how the Bobcats hit. The players, she said, showed strong discipline and swung mostly at only strikes.
Redmond threw a complete game in the nightcap to pick up the victory for Basehor-Linwood.
Mayberry said both pitchers performed well, but have things that they will continue improving on as the season progresses.
Basehor-Linwood, 1-1, plays host to Kaw Valley League foe Mill Valley at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.