Archive for Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tonganoxie softball drops opener

Tonganoxie shortstop Kaitlyn Wolken throws to third for a force out during the Chieftains' 8-2, extra-inning loss to Basehor-Linwood on Thursday.

Tonganoxie shortstop Kaitlyn Wolken throws to third for a force out during the Chieftains' 8-2, extra-inning loss to Basehor-Linwood on Thursday.

April 9, 2009

Lauren Himpel runs toward the Tonganoxie dugout after catching a fly ball in the bottom of the seventh that forced extra innings.

Lauren Himpel runs toward the Tonganoxie dugout after catching a fly ball in the bottom of the seventh that forced extra innings.

It took an extra inning but Basehor-Linwood was able to knock off the Tonganoxie High softball team in its season opener on Thursday at Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.

Following seven tightly contested innings, the Bobcats blew the game open in the first and only extra frame for an 8-2 win.

The final score, though, belied the competitiveness of the Chieftains in their season opener.

Before the top of the eighth, when BLHS scored six runs, the young Tonganoxie players battled back and forth with Basehor-Linwood.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second with two outs, freshman second baseman Brooklyn Kerbaugh hustled out an infield single to spark a mini-rally. Senior right fielder Emily Gripka kept things alive with a single to left and sophomore Tiffany Jacobs drove in Kerbaugh with a base hit to center that tied the game.

The Chieftains (0-1) were able to take a brief lead in the third. With one down, sophomore Kaitlyn Wolken tripled and clean-up hitter Alisha Barnes drove her in on a groundout to give Tonganoxie a 2-1 lead.

But BLHS answered with a run in the top of the fourth and held THS scoreless the rest of the way.

Junior Tonganoxie pitcher Angela Jacobs started and gave the team seven solid innings of work before tiring some in the eighth and running into trouble.

In her first varsity start, the right-hander repeatedly pitched her way out of jams to keep Tonganoxie in the low-scoring game. With two BLHS runners on and no outs in the third, she retired three straight batters. After allowing a leadoff double in the sixth, Jacobs forced two groundouts and a pop-up. In the seventh, with runners on first and second and one out, the Chieftains got a force at second on a single to right field. After Jacobs walked the next batter to load the bases, she ended the inning with a fly to center field.

Jacobs couldn’t keep the karma going in the eighth, however. After allowing six runs and recording two outs, she was replaced by junior Nikki Pennington, who ended the inning by forcing a groundout.

Tonganoxie was unable to get a hit in the bottom of the eighth.

The teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader, but just as the first inning got under way, lightning and rain rolled in and the second game was called off.

It will be played at a later date.

The Chieftains next play on Tuesday at Piper.

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