BY JIM MISUNAS
LARNED — Facing Pratt’s all-state pitcher Paige Huber, Hoisington softball coach Gary Boxberger knew there was no room for error.
Pratt used timely hitting for a 4-0 championship victory over the Cardinals in the Class 4A-Division 2 regional softball championship. Pratt made the finals with a 9-0 victory over Nickerson and Hoisington beat rival Larned 6-1.
Brooke Theis delivered a run-scoring single after left fielder Bailey Bachar was unable to see a pop fly single by Huber in the first inning. Madalynn Wilson’s two-run single roared by pitcher Delaney Smith in the second inning. Pinch runner Madison Craft scored an insurance run on a fifth-inning error in the outfield.
Catcher Kenzie Wolf anchored the defense by starting a double play that rapped pinch runner Nicole Voss off base in the third inning. Wolf made an amazing catch next to the backstop in the fourth inning.
“I was very proud of the girls,” Boxberger said. “Delaney threw a nice game and we held Pratt to three runs and four runs, two of their lowest totals of the season.”
Hoisington pushed Pratt in a 3-2 loss a few weeks ago when ninth-grade pitcher Taylor Boxberger threw an outstanding game.
“We knew Taylor would help us once we gave her an opportunity to pitch late in the season.”
Huber struck out 10 batters and Pratt’s defense did the rest. Catcher Brooke Theis made Pratt’s best play when she threw out Aurora Ingram on an attempted second-inning steal. Ingram and Emma Harmon singled and Bailey Bachar reached on a seventh-inning error.
“Paige Huber is one of the best pitchers in the state,” Boxberger said. “They made defensive plays behind her.”
HOISINGTON 6, LARNED 1 — Hoisington took advantage of a missed play and an error for a two-run first inning and never looked back behind pitcher Boxberger, who threw a two-hitter. Third baseman Trinity Dolezal played brilliantly with five assists.
Larned pitcher Mattie Glover threw a decent game, but Hoisington scored three unearned runs off three Larned errors. Glover started a 1-2-3 double play in the first inning.
Brooke Bachar and Tyann Schremmer singled and Bailey Bachar walked to load the bases. Shortstop Baylea Perez missed a chance for a forceout and a second run scored on an error.
Emma Harmon walked and scored on a throwing error in the fourth inning for a 3-0 lead. Sydney Boxberger’s single scored Ingram in the fifth inning. The Cardinals added two insurance runs on Kenzie Wolf’s misplaced grounder and Harmon’s RBI groundout.
Kelsey Parr scored Larned’s fifth-inning run after a single and sacrifice by Aleah Makings that was thrown away. Catcher Wolf ended the rally when she alertly picked Makings off third base.
PRATT 4, CARDINALS 0
HHS 000 000 0 — 0 2 0
PHS 120 010 x — 4 7 1
Smith and Wolf. Huber and Theis. W—Theis. L—Smith.
CARDINALS 6, LARNED 1
HHS 200 110 2 — 6 10 3
LHS 000 010 0 —1 2 3
Boxberger and Wolf. Glover and W—Boxberger. L—Glover. 2B—H—Ingram, Schremmer.