Return to the field ‘feels good’ for Tonganoxie High softball
Tonganoxie High softball resembled a team eager to get on the field Monday after an unprecedented hiatus.
THS hadn’t played a softball game in nearly two years and originally was supposed to play Turner on Thursday in Tonganoxie. But wet field conditions delayed that return to the diamond a bit longer.
On Monday, the Chieftains were ready to go. Tonganoxie scored runs in every inning and breezed to a mercy rule-shortened 17-2 victory in four innings.
“The girls came out fired up and ready to go,” said THS coach Stephanie Wittman.
Tonganoxie scored at least three runs in each of those four innings and cranked out 15 hits in the victory.
Sarah Mays connected for a home run on a windy March day in Kansas, while Savannah Booker, Kylie Vandervoot and Lali Tanner each had doubles in Game 1.
Vandervoot also connected for a triple, while Santi Garcia added two more for the Chieftains.
Mays also put together a two-hitter on the mound. She struck out nine, walked one and gave up two runs on two hits.
Garcia went 3-for-3, while Booker went 3-for-4 at the plate offensively in the first game.
In the second game, Tonganoxie built a 5-0 lead, but Turner responded with a three-run fourth inning.
The Bears rallied with two more runs in the seventh, but the Chieftains were able to hold on for the 7-5 victory.
THS committed three errors to Turner’s one miscue in the second game.
Mays pitched a complete game in the 7-5 victory, striking out 10 and walking two over seven innings. She also gave up five hits on five runs, though just two were earned runs.
Offensively, Mays connected for another homer in the second game, with Booker and Garcia each getting a double in the second victory. Garcia had three hits total, which was a game-high Monday.
“It feels good to be 2-0,” Wittman said. “It feels good to play softball after two years.”
THS also celebrated its seniors with Senior Night between games. Senior Night traditionally takes place during the final home night of the season, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, many teams have opted for Senior Night festivities at the beginning of the season due to the unpredictability of scheduling and cancellations during the pandemic. Seniors on this year’s squad are Monique Johnson, Kylie Rickard, Makinzie Wilson and Sarah Mays.
Tonganoxie is back in action this Thursday with a doubleheader against Spring Hill in the Frontier League opener. The game also is on the Chieftains’ home field at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m., with the second game expected to start around 6:30 p.m.
THS continues a string of Frontier League games on the road with a single game at 6 p.m. April 8 at Eudora and then a doubleheader April 13 at Paola.
It’s back south for a 4:30 p.m. April 15 at Louisburg before THS plays again at home April 20. The Chieftains welcome Bonner Springs for more Frontier League play with a 4:30 p.m. doubleheader April 20.
Turner 002 0 — 2 2 2
Tonganoxie 363 5 — 17 15 0
Turner 000 300 2 — 5 5 1
Tonganoxie 203 020 x — 7 7 3