Bobcat softball sweeps Turner in coach’s absence
When the Basehor-Linwood softball team opened its season Monday, it did so without its head coach. As it turns out, though, Susan Mayberry's absence from the dugout gave the Bobcats a little extra incentive to get the job done on the diamond.
BLHS opened the year with a sweep of Kaw Valley League opponent Turner, 14-3 and 15-0. Mayberry missed the games because of a family emergency involving her father — also a regular attendee.
"We knew that we needed to get things done, knowing that Coach wasn't here," senior Allison Kasick said. "Papa (Mayberry's father) is always at our games, so we wanted to get a win for him. We have some people playing up. It was their first varsity game, so they were really nervous, but they got it together."
Things got off to a shaky start in the opener, as Turner scored two runs in the top of the first. BLHS tied the game when Kayleigh Schoenfelder and Candice Jennings scored in the home half of the inning, but the Bears retook the lead with a run in the third.
A strong wind gave the Bobcats some issues in the early inning, as two of Turner's first three runs were results of misplays in the outfield.
BLHS took advantage of several defensive mishaps by Turner in the third, scoring three runs to go in front for good. Schoenfelder scored on an RBI single by Kasick, Jennings came home on an overthrow by the center fielder and Kasick scored on a groundout by Anya Armstrong.
Turner got one run back, but the Bobcat bats stayed hot in a five-run fourth. BLHS added three more in the fifth before the game was prematurely called. The scoreboard incorrectly read 14-4 following the team's 13th run, and the umpire called the game, thinking the five-inning mercy rule had gone into effect.
Pitcher Asia Larsen got the win in the circle. She gave up six hits in five innings while striking out six and walking just one. She got better as the game went on, as Turner managed just two base runners in the final three innings.
The late offensive surge carried over into the nightcap, as the Bobcats scored five runs in the first. Madison McDowell had a two-run single, while Jennings and Kasick each drove in a run.
"We just need to keep our focus (between games)," Kasick said. "Even though we're pulling ahead, we just need to keep working hard."
After keeping Turner scoreless in the second, BLHS put things out of reach with a 10-run second. Fifteen hitters came to the plate in the inning, as the Bobcats recorded nine hits. Turner failed to score in the third, so the game came to an end.
McDowell pitched three scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and striking out five.
BLHS will be back on the field at 4 p.m. Tuesday when it travels to Blue Valley North for a non-league doubleheader.
"We actually try to forget about our previous games and just start fresh each time," Kasick said. "We don't want to go in with a big head. We just go in focused and ready to play."
THS 210 10 — 4
BLHS 203 53 — 13
THS 000 — 0
BLHS 5(10)X — 15