Andover’s Lexi Lesperance and her Trojan softball teammates should be celebrating a lifetime memory — one day after shocking five-time state champion Wichita Bishop Carroll. The Trojans were close to playing for a state championship after breaking Carroll’s 77-game winning streak.
Lesperance drove in six runs, drilled a two-run homer and pitched the Trojans to a 9-4 victory over Wichita Carroll — the biggest upset in KSHSAA softball history.
Their dreams were stolen by misguided rules and thoughtless administrators who allowed rules to trump simple common sense.
Thanks to the heartless and senseless rules that are used by Kansas State High School Activities Association, sad memories are all that remain for Andover. The Trojans’ memory will be disgust and anger rather than the jubilation that their improbable post-season run deserves.
The Trojans led Shawnee Heights 4-3, three outs away from reaching the Class 5A state softball finals when rain stopped play in the seventh inning, That’s when a senseless National Federation of State High School Association Rule 4-2-2b was applied to the post-season game.
The artitrary decison was made to cancel the game despite several hours to get infield prepared for a half inning. The work crew determined that five hours wasn’t enough time to play the infield playable.
Have they ever heard of diamond dry?
The federation rule allows the incomplete game to revert back to the sixth inning and Shawnee Heights was handed an unwarranted 3-2 victory.
“Our kids are in total devastation,” said Andover coach Ernie Hager. “To take it away like this is a terrible process for a state competition.”
The second KSHSAA “rule,” that makes no sense states that a post-season game “must be completed,” by midnight. That makes no sense whatsoever. Are there ghosts or goblins that appear after midnight?
Fran Martin, a KSHSAA director, informed teams of the decision. But the messenger is not to blame. State administrators that allow such misguided rules to exist are responsible for this travesty.
The fix is simple — if it’s a post-season game, continue it the next day.
The state should apply a suspended game rule for post-season play rather than an “official game” policy.
“It’s just common sense to come back to finish the game,” Hager said. “Why take away from the kids when this is the postseason?”
The sad story is the KSHSAA knew the “midnight rule” was a disaster waiting to happen last year. Oxford was an hour from an identical sad ending when play resumed against Moscow in the Class 2-1A state baseball tournament.
I’m convinced post-season policy in regards to baseball and softball will change.
Let’s call it, “The Andover Rule.”