Softball team loses first game
Tonganoxie opened the season Thursday with two losses to visiting Jefferson West.
Mark Mall, Tonganoxie softball coach, said that he was pleased with the offense and that the defense needed some work.
"We had 13 hits in both games, and that's not too bad," Mall said.
The team scored five runs in the first inning of the first game but couldn't capitalize on base runners late in the game with timely hits.
Offensively, the only thing Mall said he would like to change is timing.
In the third inning Tonganoxie runners were on first and second base with no outs. In the fourth inning, Tonganoxie had runners at first and second with one out. In both innings, the team failed to score.
Errors were a factor in both games. The Chieftains made three errors in the first games including two in the critical eighth inning. Those combined with a walk resulted in five runs, the margin in a 10-5 loss.
Sammy Schiltz pitched to 38 batters in the first game, allowing six earned runs on 13 hits and six walks. She struck out six batters.
In the second game, Tonganoxie committed five errors.
The Chieftains trailed 9-1 after two and a half innings in the second game. A five-run fourth inning closed the gap to 9-7, but the Chieftains couldn't get any closer and lost 13-8.
Laura Samuels started the second game and allowed seven earned runs in six innings off 12 hits and a walk. She struck out one batter.
Mall said Heather Beach, starting her first varsity games, played well, going 6-10 at the plate.
"Deaven Workman and Kristin Korb both hit well," Mall said.
Mall said that in practice he is drilling the team on reacting to and charging the ball on defense.
After losing two games to Jefferson West last week, the Tonganoxie softball team is scheduled to play tough games this week.
Tuesday the team traveled to Gardner-Edgerton. The Trailblazers were a state-qualifying team last year and have done well in recent seasons.
On Thursday the team plays Atchison, a team that has been down recently but lost two close games in its season opener last week.
Tonganoxie plays at 4 p.m. Thursday against Atchison. Tonganoxie plays at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Perry-Lecompton. Junior varsity games are scheduled for the same time for both contests.