McLouth softball suffers first losses of year at Holton
For the first time this season, the McLouth High softball team left the field with a loss Monday at Holton.
The previously unbeaten Bulldogs were swept by the Wildcats, losing 4-2 and 15-3.
MHS (12-2) led 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth in Game 1, but Holton scored three runs with four straight hits and held on for the win.
Kendra Leach hit a solo home run in the top of the third to give McLouth an early 1-0 lead. After Holton tied the game, the visitors re-gained the lead in the sixth, when Kaitlyn Sparks led off with a triple and Konner Patterson drove her home.
Bulldogs coach Ballard Patterson said his team was in great position to win, up 2-1 midway through the sixth.
“We had to get six outs and couldn’t get them before they caught us,” he said.
After pitching all six innings in Game 1, Kaley Patterson had to start Game 2 because Leach, who usually starts the second game for MHS, had an injured left ankle and couldn’t pivot like normal when she pitched. Ballard said Kaley started to stiffen up in the first inning, so he had to pull her and move junior varsity pitcher Kelsey Mills to the circle.
Even though Holton was the first team to defeat McLouth this season, Ballard said the losses shouldn’t hurt his team.
“I don’t feel like we’re any different than we were before the game,” the coach said.
The team’s health, he added, is his biggest concern. Katrina Thummel was out with the flu and the coach estimated Leach was playing at roughly 30 percent of her normal ability, noting he thinks she is one of the best players in the Delaware Valley League.
“We’ll be fine,” Ballard said. “We’ve got to get healthy.”
Bulldogs sweep Troy
Before losing at Holton, McLouth extended its winning streak to 12 games Thursday at Troy with wins of 11-3 and 11-5.
Emily Welsh went 4-for-5 in Game 1 and MHS got four RBI apiece from Patterson sisters Kaley and Konner.
Leach twisted her ankle in the first game but still pitched in Game 2 and allowed just six hits and three earned runs.
Both Welsh and Leach went 3-for-4 at the plate in the second game. Konner was 2-for-2 and Taylor Pope finished 2-for-3.
The Bulldogs will have an early wake-up call for their next date, a 9 a.m. Saturday doubleheader at Wathena. Then, at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, McLouth will play at Jeff West.