Despite a rough game at Shawnee Mission’s Sunflower Softball Festival against Shawnee Mission Northwest, Holton High School’s varsity girls softball team bounced back to go 3-1 in the annual tournament, held recently.
The Lady Cats opened up the annual Kansas City-area tournament on Thursday with a 14-3 win against Shawnee Mission North before falling 11-1 to Shawnee Mission Northwest in the second game of the day. On Friday, they bounced back with back-to-back wins against Leavenworth and Shawnee Mission West.
“We handled the ball in that tournament really well,” Head Coach John Deitrich said of the Lady Cats’ performances against bigger schools. “Everybody in that tournament swings it, especially big schools. Each one of them is going to have four or five kids who can really swing the bat, so that was good for us to have to pitch to.”
Going 3-1 in the tournament brought Holton’s overall record for the 2017 season to 7-3, including a Big Seven League record of 4-2.
Opening the Sunflower Softball Festival with the 14-3 win over SM North got the team in a mood to win, Deitrich said. The charge against the Blues was led by Savanna Booth, who went 3-3 at the plate with a triple and two runs batted in.
Also picking up two RBI each were Adalee Degenhardt, Jewel Lutz, Kinleigh Rhodd, Sarah Bond, Lauryn Moore and Gabryel Porras. In the circle, Bond held the Blues to three runs off nine hits over six innings.
However, the 11-1 loss to SM Northwest in six innings — Holton allowed three runs in the first inning and six runs in the second — “kind of killed our momentum.” Lutz, in the circle for 5 2/3 innings before the game was called, gave up those 11 runs on 13 hits, including four doubles and no strikeouts.
“We let them put nine on us in the first two, and we had a hard time recovering,” Deitrich said. “We came out and put runners in scoring position, but we couldn’t push them across… They might not have been the best team in the tournament, but we just didn’t respond real well.”
The only scoring opportunity for the Lady Cats came in the fourth inning, when Lutz walked and Moore bashed a triple to score Lutz.
The next day’s games left the Lady Cats in a better mood, starting with a 7-4 win over Leavenworth that proved to be more of a solid game to play, particularly with a good Pioneer pitcher in the circle.
“We forced her to pitch from behind, and when she fattened it up, we turned it around,” Deitrich said. “Everybody got involved in the offense against them. We defended decently, even though we’re still susceptible to an error every once in a while.”
The Cats’ bats were led by Annalyss Phillips in this game, as she went two-for-four with three RBI. Lutz contributed a triple while Casi VanAusdall added an RBI with a double.
The Lady Cats finished their Sunflower tournament play with a crushing 19-1 win over SM West, a game that Deitrich recognized as a blow-out — and a frustrating one at that.
“They were running out of pitching, and we caught them at a bad moment,” Deitrich said. “Their first kid scored, and they couldn’t get past second for the rest of the game. But their pitching was very, very suspect. It was really, really challenging for us to be patient enough to keep the ball in play.”
Deitrich cited the “really, really solid” work of Phillips in the tournament, along with Booth and Bond for propelling the team to a 3-1 overall tournament standing.
The Holton Recorder
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