THS softball gets back on track with sweep of Rams
Chieftains rack up 35 runs in 10 innings
THS softball at Pleasant Ridge
The Tonganoxie High softball team cruised by Pleasant Ridge in a two-game sweep on Tuesday.
Easton The Tonganoxie High softball team got back into the win column in a big way Tuesday, pounding out 35 runs in a two-game sweep of Pleasant Ridge. The Chieftains (6-4) defeated the Class 3A Rams by scores of 15-0 and 20-5.
It was the third sweep of the season for THS, which was coming off back-to-back losses to Piper on April 19.
"It always feels good for your mental state of mind to win two games," coach Lee Matzeder said. "We're above .500 regardless of who we've beat and who we've lost to. I'm sure there are other teams that wish they were 6-4, so I'm good with that."
Neither team scored in the first inning of the opener, but Matzeder's squad erupted for 14 runs in the second, and the rest was history. The entire THS lineup batted twice in the frame.
The Chieftains only recorded five hits during its scoring outburst, but drew six walks and took advantage of several defensive errors.
"You kind of take what they give you," Matzeder said. "If they're not going to pitch strikes to us, then we have to walk."
THS added one more run in the fourth. Pleasant Ridge failed to answer in the bottom of the inning, so the mercy rule went into effect.
Sophomore pitcher Morgan Oroke kept the Rams in check for the duration of the game, throwing four scoreless frames to preserve the shutout. Oroke, who has pitched every game this season, struck out four batters. Senior Makayla Leslie, sophomore Lainy Walker and senior Amanda Holroyd each recorded two hits.
Pleasant Ridge struck first in the nightcap, scoring two in the first and one in the second for an early 3-0 lead. But an eight-run third inning swung the momentum back in favor of the Chieftains and ultimately put the game out of reach. THS tagged the Rams for 12 more runs in the sixth, extending its advantage to 20-3.
"We did a lot of great things as far as hitting, but we also had some walks and we also reached on some errors," Matzeder said. "Those kind of things aren't going to happen against teams that we're going to be playing soon."
Pleasant Ridge scored two in the bottom of the sixth, but the final outcome was never in question. The Rams failed to get within 10 runs, so the game was called at the end of the inning.
Oroke again went the distance in the circle, striking out eight. She and senior Kailan Kuzmic each went 3-for-5 at the plate and drove in a combined eight runs.
The Chieftains will return to the diamond at 4 p.m. Thursday when they travel to Lansing for a Kaw Valley League doubleheader. They split last year's twin bill against the Lions.
"That's always one of the best teams in the league," Matzeder said of Lansing. "They always finish at the top of the league with Mill Valley and Basehor, and that's going to happen again this year. They'll be tough games."
Tonganoxie 0(14)0 1XX X — 15
Pleasant Ridge 000 0XX X — 0
Leading hitters: Makayla Leslie 2-3, 2B, RBI; Amanda Holroyd 2-2, 2B, RBI; Lainy Walker 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI.
Tonganoxie 008 00(12) X — 20
Pleasant Ridge 210 002 X — 5
Leading hitters: Kailan Kuzmic 3-5, 2 2B, 5 RBI; Morgan Oroke 3-5, 3 RBI; JayCee Knipp 2-3, 2 RBI; Amanda Holroyd 2-3, 2B, RBI.