By JIM MISUNAS
LARNED — Haley Skelton rescued Larned’s softball team with a game-winning double.
After the Indians won the opener 7-6, Larned cruised to an 11-1 over Hesston to complete a sweep of Tuesday’s doubleheader. Larned improves to 5-9 entering Thursday’s home games against Smoky Valley. Hesston (0-14) played its best game of the season in the opener.
Hesston led the opener from the outset and Emily Shirley’s homer handed the Swathers a 6-5 lead heading to the seventh inning.
Mattie Glover and Kelsey Parr singled to place the tying and winning runners on base. Skelton delivered a two-run double to centerfield off losing pitcher Morgan Holopirek.
“Haley came through big time in the bottom of the seventh,” said Larned coach Dustin Wilson.
Larned pitcher Shay Shepherd yielded 12 hits and stranded eight runners in scoring position.
“The first game, Shay was a little shaky early, but pitched well enough,” Wilson said. “We played solid D behind her.”
The game was tied 5-5 after four innings. Shirley and Emma Krehbiel each drove in two runs for Hesston. Erin Smith, Maci Perez and Tymarra Bryant also drove in runs. Annie Russum scored the tying run when Perez’s groundball was misplayed.
In the second game, pitcher Larned’s Mattie Glover worked six solid innings with a four-hitter. She stranded seven baserunners, including a threat in the first inning. Glover reached base four times and singled three times for two runs batted in. Courtesy runner Allissa Bird scored three runs while subbing for Glover.
“Mattie Glover was excellent,” Wilson said. “She worked out of a couple of tough spots and we played excellent D behind her. She helped herself at the plate. She had a heck of a night.”
Leadoff hitter Erin Smith and No. 2 hitter Russum each had three hits and two runs batted in. The Indians scored runs in five innings with consistent hitting and baserunning. Russum’s single scored Skelton with the game-ending run for a 10-run victory.
LARNED 7, HESSTON 6
Hesston 221 001 0 — 6 12 3
Larned 121 100 2 — 7 13 3
Holopirek and Miller. Shepherd and Langdon. W—Shepherd. L—Holopirek. 2B—H, Krehbiel, Shirley; L, Skelton, Bryant, Maci Perez. HR—H, Shirley.
LARNED 11, HESSTON 1
Hesston 100 000 — 1 4 6
Larned 022 223 — 11 14 0
Holopirek and Miller. Glover and Langdon. W—Glover. L—Holopirek. 2B—H, Shirley; L, Shepherd, Glover, Smith.
Smoky Valley 5-7
Hillsboro 15-15, Nickerson 0-0
Kingman 6-6, Halstead 3-3
Larned 7-14, Hesston 6-4
Pratt 2-15, Smoky Valley 0-1
Sterling 10-9, Hoisington 2-8