HHS Takes 4th Place at State Softball
The Holton Lady Wildcat softball team took fourth place at the Class 4A-DII softball tournament in Salina recently.
This was the school’s fourth state tournament appearance in the sport and the first tournament win in the program’s history.
In the first round of the tournament held Thursday evening, the Wildcats, who were seeded fifth, defeated Kingman-Norwich, the number four seed, 9-6, after scoring seven runs in the first two innings.
Holton senior Annalyss Phillips was walked at the top of the first inning and then sophomore Kinleigh Rhodd had a base hit to left field. A bunt by sophomore Bailey Flewelling loaded the bases.
Although senior Sarah Bond was thrown out at first, she drove in the Wildcats’ first run. A double by sophomore Jewel Lutz scored two to give the Wildcats a 3-0 advantage.
Two defensive errors by Holton in the bottom of the inning, however, allowed the Lady Eagles to score one run.
Holton widened its lead in the second with a leadoff triple by junior Lauryn Moore followed by a single by freshman Allyson Beard.
An RBI groundout by Phillips drove in Moore and a hit by sophomore Savannah Booth brought in one more run to bring the score to 5-1.
A groundout by Rhodd scored another run for Holton, and a solo home run by Flewelling – her seventh of the season – helped the LadyCats finish the inning 7-1.
Both teams remained scoreless in the third, and Holton was shut out in the top of the fourth.
Kingman-Norwich scored one run in the bottom of the fourth on a hit to right field and kept that momentum in the bottom of the fifth as they scored three runs to close the gap to 7-5.
Despite a double by Beard, Holton couldn’t score in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the inning, Kingman scored one with just one out. An intentional walk by Bond loaded the bases, and the Wildcats got out of the inning after Bond caught a pop up and then struck out a batter.
In the seventh, Holton scored two runs on a double by Beard to make it 9-6. Three quick outs in the bottom of the seventh, including two strikeouts by Bond, gave Holton the state tournament win – a first in the program’s history.
During the game, Holton had nine hits over Kingman-Norwich’s seven hits.
Lutz had three hits in four at bats including three doubles and had four RBI. Flewelling had two hits, including her home run, and Moore had a triple.
Beard had a double and Phillips and Rhodd also had hits.
Defensively, Holton had five errors, and Kingman had four errors.
Bond had 10 strikeouts, five walks (one intentional) and hit one batter, surrendering only six hits.
On Friday morning at 11, Holton battled the Lady Bulldogs of Galena – the number eight seed – for a chance to play in the championship game.
In the bottom of the first, Phillips hit a double into right field but an out at third and a double play closed the inning without a run scored.
Despite both teams going scoreless in the second and third innings, Moore had a double for Holton in the second.
In the top of the fourth, Galena drove in one run on a double to left field.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the inning, Rhodd hit a fly out to centerfield and then Flewelling was called out on a bunt that took her to third base. The umpire ruled that Flewelling threw the bat at the bunted ball in front of the batter’s box, and struck it, and was out due to batter interference.
Bond was then walked, but her courtesy runner, junior Emma Howes, was called out at home on a double by Lutz to end the inning.
Holton left two on in the fifth after popping up several balls, and a great catch by Galena stole a near home run from Moore in the seventh that would have tied the game.
Galena won 1-0 and advanced to the championship game.
Bond had five strikeouts, allowed four hits and one run. During the game, Bond had her 100th strikeout of the season.
Holton had four hits in 26 at bats. Lutz, Moore and Phillips had one double a piece. Beard also had a hit for the Wildcats.
Holton left five on base and had no defensive errors.
In the third-place game, Holton and Girard squared off shortly after Holton’s loss to Galena. Girard had an undefeated season going prior to its loss against Baldwin during the tournament.
Girard won last year’s Class 4A-DII softball tournament and fell in this year’s tournament to Baldwin, the eventual state champs.
The Wildcats had a hard time batting against Girard’s Shelly Smith, who struck out five HHS batters in the first three innings.
Both teams were shut out in the first and second innings before the Lady Trojans drove in one run in the bottom of third on a hit to center field.
Holton struggled to score in the fourth and fifth innings with several pop flies and ground balls.
In the top of the sixth, Phillips was walked and her courtesy runner, freshmen Grace Utz, advanced to third base on a bunt by Booth and a ground ball by Rhodd.
Flewelling hit a hard ground ball to bring Utz home and tied the game 1-1.
In the bottom of the inning, with bases loaded, Girard edged past Holton on a ground ball to center field, scoring a runner from third, before keeping the Wildcats scoreless in the seventh to take the game, 2-1.
Girard’s Shelly Smith struck out five Holton batters and walked two. Bond had one walk during the game and allowed eight hits.
Girard had two runs in eight hits while Holton had one run in four hits.
Moore had two hits in three at bats and Phillips, Bond and sophomore Addie Degenhardt also had hits during the game.
Holton did not have any errors, and Girard had two.
The Lady Wildcats ended their season with a 19-6 record, a fourth-place finish at state, a Regional Tournament Championship and a Big Seven League Championship.
The team has just two seniors on the team, Bond and Phillips.
Class 4A-DII Tournament scores
* Galena over Clay Center Community-Wakefield 6-0.
* Holton over Kingman-Norwich 9-6.
* Girard over Lindsborg-Smoky Valley 6-1.
* Baldwin over Burlington 12-7 (8 innings).
* Galena over Holton 1-0.
* Baldwin over Girard 6-5.
* Baldwin over Galena 12-10.
* Girard over Holton 2-1.