BLHS softball advances to state semifinals
For a night, the Basehor-Linwood softball can dream of the next game.
Players can hit their pillows knowing the team is two wins away from winning a Class 4A state championship.
Basehor-Linwood defeated Colby, 3-0, in the opening round of the Class 4A state softball tournament on Friday in Salina.
The game turned in the third inning.
Bobcats pitcher Brooke Redmond was at the center of the action. In the top half of the inning Colby had runners at second and third base with nobody out.
Redmond — as she has done when faced with a jam throughout the season — went to work.
She struck out three consecutive batters, ending the inning and stranding Colby’s two runners who were in scoring position.
Redmond led off the next half inning with a triple. She scored when third baseman Courtney Leive hit into a fielders’ choice.
The Bobcats led 1-0.
Redmond became almost unhittable from that point on and she finished the night with 16 strikeouts. When Colby put the bat on the ball, Basehor-Linwood fielders made plays behind her.
The Bobcats added runs in the fourth and fifth inning to put the game out of reach.
Coach Susan Mayberry said her team played a complete game in the tournament opener.
“Yeah, we sure we did,” she said. “We moved well on defense, and anticipated well. We swung the bats well. We are good to go for tomorrow; the kids are excited. Everybody contributed again tonight.”
Collectively, the players showed great determination in the victory. They did a nice job of handling the state environment.
“Yeah, I think so. We were a little nervous early on, but we hate to lose,” Mayberry said. “I think the defining moment was when Colby had runners at second and third, Brooke Redmond bore down and struck out the side. She led off the next inning and hit a triple.”
The determination, though, is nothing new. The Bobcats have displayed it all season, Mayberry said.
“I think they made up minds a long time ago that this is where they want to be,” she said. “We are here ready to go and they are going to go for it.”
After the Colby game, Mayberry and her team celebrated in left field, dancing like they had after games all season and looking to the next game.
“The hardest one is out of the way,” she said. “I told them to relax and have fun tomorrow. Have fun and let’s go get them.”
Basehor-Linwood advances to play at 10 a.m. Saturday against the winner of Paola and Holton. If Basehor-Linwood wins, it would play in the Class 4A state championship game at 1 p.m.
The loser of the game would play at noon in the consolation game at noon.
With Friday’s victory, Basehor-Linwood improved to 22-2 on the season.