THS softball gets up for 1st round, eliminated in 2nd
THS softball eliminated in semis
The Tonganoxie High softball team knocked off Atchison at a Class 4A regional softball tournament on Tuesday before losing to Perry-Lecompton in a semifinal.
Atchison The Tonganoxie High softball team experienced the good and the bad of an extended layoff when the postseason began May 18.
The Chieftains hadn’t played since May 6, which had them more than fired up in a 3-1, first-round victory against host Atchison in a Class 4A regional tournament.
But they couldn’t find the stamina to keep it up against Perry-Lecompton in a semifinal, and fell, 3-0.
The THS dugout buzzed with energy against Atchison and the seventh-seeded underdogs used that to pounce on the No. 2 team in the bracket.
“They were hungry to play,” said Tonganoxie coach Lee Matzeder, who noted the squad practiced well in its extended down time caused by inclement weather.
That string of practices (many of which were inside), said senior Lindsey Fatherley, had a direct impact on the team’s high energy against AHS.
“We were outside, ready to roll,” she said of the team’s attitude.
The Chieftains (9-11) were eager to get back on the diamond and Matzeder said Brooklyn Kerbaugh set the tone for the victory by leading off the game with a single. She got to second base on a passed ball before advancing to third on a sacrifice fly from Haley Smith. Kaitlyn Wolken then drove her home with another sac fly.
THS took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third after Wolken led off the inning with a single. Fatherley followed with a single to left and the runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Makayla Leslie. Amanda Holroyd walked to load the bases and Angela Jacobs drove in Wolken with a sac fly.
After Atchison cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the third, Tonganoxie scored its final run in the fourth. Hannah Kemp led off with a double and later scored on an RBI-single by Smith.
With three runs in four innings, the Chieftains were rolling, but momentum began to slow as the game progressed.
“It’s hard to keep that high for so long,” Matzeder said.
Fatherley, who went 3-for-4 in the win, noticed the team’s energy dropping off late in the game and said that it had completely fallen off by the time the semifinal with PLHS started. THS players didn’t learn until the afternoon of the games that they would be playing twice (the original plan was to have semifinals and a final on May 19) and Fatherley said they had anticipated winning, and going home to get some rest. Instead, they had to play twice after being away from live competition for nearly two weeks.
Tonganoxie played with the hand it had been dealt but Matzeder said he noticed morale had changed when the semifinal game began.
“It wasn’t quite the same,” he said, noting the players couldn’t regenerate the emotion that carried them to a win earlier in the evening.
But the biggest problem for the Chieftains against Perry-Lecompton was the lack of runs. They were retired in order in the first, fourth and sixth innings and had one hit in both the first and seventh. Only the third, when three THS runners reached base, was relatively productive.
“We were getting some runners, we just couldn’t move them over,” Matzeder said.
Only Kerbaugh, Fatherley, McKenzie Knight and Amanda Holroyd had hits against PLHS.
Although the season ended with a tough, three-run loss, Matzeder said he was impressed by a few of his players, especially the starting pitchers, at the regional tournament. Sisters Angela and Tiffany Jacobs combined to pitch all 13 innings for Tonganoxie at Atchison. Angela threw seven innings in the win and struck out four batters. Tiffany settled down after allowing two runs in the first inning and one in the second against the Kaws and finished with five strikeouts, while allowing three walks and seven hits.