Highline cachet Brooke McElwain smiles during warm up.
Lancers close in on Seamount League title
By Gerardo Bolong
Top-ranked and undefeated Seamount League leader Kennedy Catholic turned up the run-scoring heat early en route to a 10-2 seven inning girls softball scorching of second place Highline at Moshier Park on Tues., April 29.
The Lancers at 10-0 league and 12-0 overall now hold a two game lead in the loss column over the home Pirates and Hazen with four league encounters left on their schedule.
"`It was nice to be able to play a full game," said Kennedy head coach Dino Josie. "Highline is a high quality team with good players.We just kept hitting the ball hard and kept adding on. Our girls work hard and get along well with each other. It's important for them to have fun and they are helped by our strong coaching staff."
According to Josie, longtime assistant coaches Mike Trautmann and Jim Perkins team up well with the younger coaches Ashley Davis and Taylor Trautmann.
Kennedy claimed early success in the first inning beginning with Maggie Gallagher's opening game walk. Gallagher stole second base ahead of a walk to Sierra Bains. Both runners eventually scored on a series of wild pitches for a 2-0 Lancer lead.
In the second inning, Lia Conrath led off the KC at bat by reaching base on a dropped throw in the infield. Gallagher later singled home a run and advanced to third base when the outfielder let the ball get through her. Kennedy's final run of the inning came by way of a wild pitch as it increased its lead to 5-0.
Brooke McElwain countered in the home half of the frame with single that scored Talia Perez who had singled and moved up to third base on an outfield miscue on the same sequence.
Conrath flipped an RBI single into the outfield in the Lancer fifth before scoring the second Lancer run of the inning and the Lancers' lead became 7-1.
Highline countered with a tally in the bottom of the fifth on Hope McElwaine's double, but was unable to score again against the Lancer defense and pitcher Sierra Bains.
"I felt good, today," said Bains who pitched a six-hitter with eight strikeouts while also batting 1 for 4. "I was confident in my defense."
It was Gallagher, again, providing offense in the top of the seventh for Kennedy Catholic. Following a base on balls to Conrath, Gallagher pulled a hit deep into the right field corner and just beat out an excellent outfield throw and and infield relay for an inside the park home run. Bains followed Conrath with her inside the park homer in similar fashion for the final run of the game.
"I hit the ball, turned around and saw the outfielder running to the ball," she said. "When I reached second I knew I was going for home, but they had a great relay throw. We have a promising future and take one game at a time. We also try to keep our practices competitive."
Gallagher finished by batting 3 for 4 with four RBI. Conrath was 2 for 3 and one RBI. Nicky Miller was effective as a slap hitter and with sacrifice bunt that moved runners up for the Lancers.
Hope McElwain hit 2 for 3 with an RBI for the Pirates.
"Our strategy of using our two best pitches had to be adjusted because of Nichole Jacobson recovering from an injury, but Kennedy deserves credit for getting runners on base," said Highline head coach Rod Pierce. "We had trouble throwing out their speedy runners."
Highline shortstop Maddie Kelly, center fielder Hope McElwain and right fielder Perez highlighted the Pirate defense.
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