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Larned claims schools top state finish in softball
spt JM Larned Perez
Larneds Brittney Perez pitches on Saturday during the Class 3A state softball tournament in Manhattan. - photo by JIM MISUNAS Great Bend Tribune

MANHATTAN – Larned pitcher Brittney Perez ended her career with a strikeout and the Lady Indians celebrated a victory in the Class 3A state softball tournament,
Larned’s 4-3 victory over Caney Valley Saturday clinched third place, the best softball finish in school history. Perez struck out six of eight batters in relief of starter Katie Seeman.
Perez would’ve preferred that her dramatic finish had happened in the state championship game rather than the third-place game. But state champion Osage City beat the Lady Indians 6-1 in Saturday’s semifinals, and then went on to beat beat Frontenac 4-1 in the title game.
“Our goal was first place, but that was a good ending,” Perez said. “We had confidence in Katie.”
Larned head coach Carl Miller also has had immense confidence in Perez, who developed into the Indians’ ace. She worked out of a bases-loaded fifth-inning situation left by Seeman to preserve a 4-3 lead.
“My arm was getting tired in our first game, but I got some rest,” Perez said. “I felt a lot better in the second game.”
The Tribe, who finished 16-10 overall, beat top-seeded Caney Valley and third-seeded McLouth.
“We played the top three seeds and beat two of them,” Miller said. “I’m very proud of them for the best finish in school history.
“Brittney dug deep and got the job done. We rallied back and hung together.”

Larned 4, Caney Valley 3
The Lady Indians turned two errors into three unearned first-inning runs. Kaileigh Dietrich singled and Bailey Schartz doubled. Dietrich scored on an errant pickoff throw. Schartz scored on a fielding error. Perez stole home after a pickoff throw from the catcher.
Perez’s stolen base set up the Indians’ fourth run. After a single, she stole second base and scored on Summer Snyder’s base hit for a 4-0 lead.
The Bullpups chipped away for three runs, thanks to Larned’s defensive lapses. Kensey Deal was hit by a pitch and scored on two errors in the fourth. Skylar Ford scored on a wild pitch and Kayla Clapp scored on Lyndsay Roper’s squeeze bunt in the fifth.
But Perez struck out Deal and Kissa Ryan to end the bases-loaded situation.

Osage City 6, Larned 1

Osage pitcher Carly Spicer struck out three batters and kept Larned in check after the first inning with an effective rise ball.
“I give credit to the pitcher. We had a hard time catching up to her rise ball,” Miller said. “We adjusted as the game progressed, but we didn’t hit the ball very hard.”
Miller said the Indians didn’t play their best softball, perhaps a carry-over from Friday’s 10-inning marathon victory over McLouth.
“We seemed a step behind and played a little tired,” Miller said. “We gave them too many runs.”
Dietrich established an aggressive attitude by bunting safely on the first pitch of the game. She moved to second on a groundout. Perez doubled her home for a 1-0 lead.
Osage rallied for a 3-1 lead behind timely hitting and three Larned errors. Leah Garland doubled home Taylor Kimball on a ball that froze left fielder Seeman. Kealy Giesy and Deidra Jones followed with RBI singles. Larned mishandled a bunt, missed an infield grounder and missed a relay throw.
“They were a very good contact-hitting team,” Perez said. “They were a tough team.”
Perez kept Larned close by striking out the side in the fifth inning. Spicer and Jones reached base on singles. But Lauren Portner, Alex Schwieger and Hope Wilson struck out.
Osage put the game away with a three-run sixth inning as Perez lost control. Osage scored two runs on wild pitches and advanced a runner into scoring position on another wild pitch.
“She lost focus a little that last inning,” Miller said.

                         123  456 7          R  H E
Larned             100  000 0   ­­—   1   5  3
Osage City       030 003 x    —   6  9  0

     Brittney Perez and Summer Snyder. Carly Spicer and Deidra Jones. W—Spicer. L—Perez (9-4). 2B—Larned (Perez, Bailey Schartz); Osage City (Leah Garland).

Third place
Larned 4, Caney Valley 3
                        123 456 7            R H E
Larned            301 000 0   —     4  8  3
Caney             120 000 0   —     3  7  3

     Katie Seeman, Perez (5) and Snyder. Kissa Ryan and Lyndsay Roper. W—Seeman, 4-2. L—Roper. Save—Perez. 2B—Larned (Schartz); Caney Valley (Bethany Barlow).

at Arrocha Ballpark, Lawrence
Friday, May 27

Olathe East 11, Lawrence 0
Topeka Washburn Rural 1, Olathe South 0
Goddard 11, Derby 3
Olathe Northwest 7, Maize 6
Saturday, May 28

Topeka Washburn Rural 3, Olathe East 1
Olathe Northwest 8, Goddard 2
Third place
Goddard 6, Olathe East 2
Olathe Northwest 9, Topeka Washburn Rural 1
at Two Rivers Youth Complex, Wichita
Friday, May 27

Hays 3, Andover Central 1
Wichita Carroll 7, Topeka Seaman 0
Blue Valley Stilwell 5, Shawnee Heights 3
St. Thomas Aquinas 7, Valley Center 1
Saturday, May 28

Blue Valley Stilwell 7, Hays 0
Wichita Carroll 2, St. Thomas Aquinas 0
Third place
St. Thomas Aquinas 6, Hays 1
Wichita Carroll 6, Blue Valley Stilwell 1
at Bill Burke Park, Salina
Friday, May 27

Girard 2, Basehor-Linwood 0
Andale-Garden Plain 6, Clay Center 0
Lenexa St. James 1, Rose Hill 0
Paola 9, Pratt 5
Saturday, May 28

Lenexa St. James 5, Girard 4
Andale-Garden Plain 3, Paola 0
Third place
Paola 11, Girard 1
Andale-Garden Plain 3, Lenexa St. James 0
at Twin Oaks Complex, Manhattan
Friday, May 27

Caney 4, Marysville 3
Osage City 1, Halstead 0
Frontenac 3, Hillsboro 1
Larned 4, McLouth 2
Saturday, May 28

Frontenac 4, Caney 3
Osage City 6, Larned 1
Third place
Larned 4, Caney 3
Osage City 4, Frontenac 1
at Trusler Sports Complex, Emporia
Friday, May 27

Sacred Heart 4, Spearville 1
Udall 7, Humboldt 5
Jayhawk Linn 3, Valley Falls 1
Ell-Saline 3 Wabaunsee 1
Saturday, May 28

Sacred Heart 9, Jayhawk Linn 3
Udall 4, Ell-Saline 3
Third place
Jayhawk Linn 9, Ell-Saline 5
Udall 9, Sacred Heart 2