LARNED — What was originally a Mid-Central Activities Association high school softball triangular became a single game to determine the league champion.
With Ellinwood forced to withdraw because it didn’t have enough players to field a team, Hoisington was able to beat Larned 7-4 in the league championship game on Tuesday at Jordaan Park.
Larned and Hoisington played a second game to fill out the 20-game schedule with Hoisington completing the sweep 11-9.
“Well, I had Ellinwood’s head coach (Rob Fischer) call me this morning and tell me his team can’t make it because of a music concert,” Hoisington head coach Lee Van Scyoc said. “So I figure we’ll play two games with Larned, and if we split, we’ll be co-league champions. Then I have our athletic director (Joel Mason) call me to tell me that we’d play one game to decide the winner and a second to fill out the schedule.”
The Lady Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the championship game, but Larned was able to tie the game up in the bottom of the second when Summer Snyder scored on an error.
Jennifer Hitschmann hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jayde Beck to give Hoisington a 2-1 advantage in the top of the fourth.
The Lady Cardinals shot out ahead in the top of the fifth with four runs.
Diah Curtis led off with a base hit and made it to third base on an error.
Stephanie Stephens got hit by a pitch from Larned’s Katie Seeman, and Becca Harmon drove in Curtis.
Haley Acker followed with a two-run triple. She was driven in by Beck to put the Lady Cardinals ahead 6-1.
“It was nice to see us get those hits when we needed them,” Van Scyoc said. “When you look at our record and you realize that we’ve lost three games in extra innings, you realize that we sometimes have trouble getting those big hits. We had that big inning in the first game and we had another one in the second game that gave us a lead.”
Seeman hit a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to close the gap to 6-3.
Hitschmann scored on an error in the top of the sixth to put Hoisington ahead 7-3.
Larned was able to score one more run, but couldn’t complete the rally.
Bailey Barnard recorded the win, pitching a complete game for Hoisington.
“Bailey pitched very well,” Van Scyoc said. “We made a couple of miscues behind her on defense, but all-in-all I think we played pretty well defensively.”
Hoisington 11, Larned 9
Just like the first game, Hoisington jumped ahead.
The Lady Cardinals went ahead 3-0 in the top of the first. Mykela Riedl drove in a run with sacrifice fly, and Barnard hit a two-run triple.
Then, just like the first game, the Lady Indians responded with runs of their own, this time closing the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the first.
Kim Gobin reached base on an error to lead off the inning.
Larned’s Reagan Burris drew a walk from Tana Hickel, and Bailey Schartz followed with an RBI single.
Dani Chilcott drove in Larned’s second run of the inning.
Hoisington scored three more runs in the top of the second to make it 5-2, but after that, Larned shut down Hoisington’s offense in the third, fourth and fifth innings while building a 9-6 lead.
The Lady Cardinals led off the top of the sixth with four singles.
Katie Willis, Harmon and Acker loaded the bases for Hickel, who hit a three-run single.
Hanna Kircher and Hitschmann each had an RBI in the five-run inning that put the Lady Cardinals ahead 11-9.
Hoisington’s regular season schedule is over, and the Lady Cardinals, 14-6 overall, will be third seed and play Nickerson (6-14) at 4:45 p.m. Monday at Pratt's Gren Sports Complex.
“Well, we went in today as a third seed, but if Colby, which was 14-4, lost to Russell twice today like we’re hearing, then we’ll have a coin toss to see who will be the No. 2 seed,” Van Scyoc said.
Larned, which is 8-10 overall, hosts Hutchinson Trinity in its regular season finale on Thursday. Larned will play Hugoton-Moscow (11-9) at 4:45 p.m,. Monday at Pratt's Green Sports Complex.
HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
Mid-Central Activites Association
123 456 7 R H E
Hoisington 100 141 0 — 7 9 3
Larned 010 021 0 — 4 9 3
Katie Seeman, Shay Shephard & Summer Snyder; Bailey Barnard & Haley Acker. W — Barnard; L — Seeman. 2B — Hoisington: Jayde Beck; Larned: Shepard, Bailey Schartz. 3B — Hoisington: Acker.