THS goes 1-1 against Piper, remains in first-place tie with Santa Fe Trail
The Chieftains smiled big for the cameras Monday in Tonganoxie.
THS played Piper, another heavyweight in the Kaw Valley League. Sunflower Broadband, channel 6 covered the first softball game as its game of the week.
The Chieftains scored in each of the first four innings and built a 9-0 lead against the Pirates. Piper put together a four-run sixth inning, but the furious rally fell short and Tonganoxie held on for the 9-4 victory.
In the first game, Ronnie Grizzle had an inside-the-park home run, a double and 2 RBI in the victory.
Tracie Hileman and Lindsey Himpel each had two singles, while Ashlee Lohman had a single and two walks. Amie Riddle pitched the complete game for THS.
In the second game, Tonganoxie again jumped out to a lead with Melissa Pratt on the mound. The Chieftains had a 3-0 lead heading into the third, but Mill Valley had another big inning -- five runs this time -- and took a 5-3 lead. Riddle came back in at pitcher midway through the third and relieved Pratt, who Himpel said has recently started pitching. Pratt also pitched quality innings against Jeff West two weeks ago.
Roxie Grizzle hit an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the third, as Tonganoxie cut the lead to 5-4, but Tonganoxie couldn't rally for a tie in the last four innings.
The Chieftains threatened on several occasions, including in the bottom of the fourth. With Sami Rush on third, Hannah Herrstrom hit what appeared to be a sacrifice fly RBI to left field. Rush trotted home for the apparent score, but Piper threw to third base and Rush was ruled out for leaving the bag before the ball was caught.
Himpel said the Chieftains were hitting the ball well Monday, but in the second game there were times they struggled at the plate.
Batters would get behind in the count and then would swing at bad pitches, Himpel said.
Defensively, Tonganoxie also had some breakdowns.
"Errors, errors and errors," Himpel said.
Although Tonganoxie players would have preferred the sweep, THS does remain in a tie for first place in the KVL with Santa Fe Trail.
Only the first game of each doubleheader counts as a league game, so THS has a 3-0 league record and 5-2 mark overall.
Tonganoxie will play today against Basehor-Linwood at Field of Dreams north of Basehor in a make-up game.
Tonganoxie won the first game, 6-2, in five innings when called the game because of threatening weather. The junior varsity will play at 4 p.m., with the varsity to follow.
The Chieftains also will play Thursday at Bonner Springs. And on Tuesday, Tonganoxie will battle Santa Fe Trail at home in what likely will decide which team takes sole possession of first place in the KVL.
Tonganoxie's other loss came against Mill Valley last week, but it was in the second game of the doubleheader, so it didn't count toward the league record.
Statistically, Amie Riddle is leading Tonganoxie in batting with a .571 average, but she's had just seven plate appearances, compared to Lindsey Himpel, who leads the team with 26 at-bats. Himpel is batting .462. Sister Lauren Himpel is batting .545 (12-for-22).
Hannah Herrstrom leads the team in home runs with two. Lauren Himpel and Lindsey Himpel, along with Roxie Grizzle and Ronnie Grizzle, each have one home run.
Lauren Himpel leads the team in RBI with nine, while Sarah Flaherty has seven.
Riddle is Tonganoxie's top pitcher. She has a 5-2 record with 33 strikeouts and an earned-run average of 1.04. She's also pitched in 40 1/3 innings.
Piper 000 004 0 -- 4
Tonganoxie 133 200 x -- 9
Home run: Roni Grizzle
Piper 005 000 0 -- 5
Tonganoxie 211 000 0 -- 4
Home runs: Hannah Herrstrom, Roxi Grizzle