The Pittsburg girls finished second in the Class 4A regional Friday at Iola and placed a small percentage of the 3,456 qualifiers across the state of Kansas for next weekend's state track meet in Wichita.
Chelsea Baker qualified in several events: second in the triple jump at 35 feet, 6 3/4 inches, fourth in the high jump at 5-0, third in the 100-meter hurdles in 16.82 seconds and she participated in the second place 4x100 relay with Nicole Striplin, Sarah Jewett and Andie Casper.
Casper won the lone Pittsburg girls regional title in the long jump with a leap of 17-3 1/4. She finished just outside the top four in the 100 and the 200. Casper also participated in the 4x400 with Jewett, Striplin and Lizzy Willis.
The versatile Jewett finished third in the 800 in 2:28.15 and took part in all three state-qualifying relays: 4x100, 4x400 and 4x800 with Willis, freshman Morgan Plank and Katie Phalen.
The Frontenac Raiders pitched and fielded their way through the Class 4A softball regional to earn a spot in the state tournament, returning after a one-year absence and making its first 4A appearance.
Frontenac defeated Baxter Springs 2-0 in the semifinals and blanked Fort Scott 1-0 in the final during a regional dominated by pitching.
Nobody pitched it better than Frontenac, which allowed no runs in 17 innings. Senior ace Lindsey Gorham pitched 16 of those innings and she gave up 12 hits against Parsons (a combined no-hitter), Baxter and Fort Scott.
“She’s a workhorse,” Frontenac head coach Cassie Buche said of Gorham. “She knows what needs to be done to get us there. She wants the ball and likes the pressure.”
The Frontenac-Pittsburg regional semifinal, on paper, offered many different storylines.
Frontenac dominated Parsons 15-0 in a three-inning run-rule Class 4A regional first-round game Monday afternoon.
Frontenac pitchers Lindsey Gorham and Rachel Amershek combined on a three-inning no-hitter. Gorham struck out two.
Offensively, Jennifer Long went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, a walk, two stolen bases and one RBI. Ashton Alex went 2-3 with two runs scored, a double and two RBI. Gorham supported herself with two RBI and two runs scored and her stat line included a walk and a sacrifice. Sam Bonner drove in three runs with a triple, her lone hit of the contest. Libby Warrick scored a run and Ryleigh McCartney scored two.
Frontenac (18-1) plays Baxter Springs at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals, back in Chanute.
Frontenac junior pitcher Brett Macary threw a complete game shutout gem, the Raiders took advantage of Girard errors and used strong baserunning to break open a scoreless game early on and the defending Class 3A state champions moved into the semifinals of their Class 4A regional with a 7-0 first-round win Monday night at the Raider Sports Complex.
“Brett threw a very good game,” Frontenac head coach Bill Sullivan said. “He’s been sharp all year and we felt confident throwing him tonight.”
Frontenac (19-0) will now take on returning 4A state qualifier Pittsburg (10-11) in the 2 p.m. semifinal game Wednesday in Altamont. Columbus and Coffeyville will meet in the other semifinal — Columbus defeated No. 2 seed Labette County 3-1 on its home field and Coffeyville outlasted Independence 2-1 in 12 innings.
The Girard Trojans swept the Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League titles on Thursday, the girls by 20 points over Frontenac and the boys in a landslide with the second-best team (St. Mary's Colgan) 42 points behind the Trojans, 141-98.
On the boys side, Drew Davied, a freshman who has won nearly every meet this season, won his first league title in the high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 8 inches, matching his personal best (one of the best high school marks in Kansas).
Logan Franklin won the javelin at 167-9, finished third in the shot put at 39-10 and third in the discus at 119-3.
Frontenac senior pole vaulter Taylor Johnson signed his letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to join the Pittsburg State track & field team.
Johnson established a school record in the pole vault at the Southeast Invitational in April and Frontenac head coach Troy Morris vividly remembers this moment in time.
"I was standing there at the time," Morris said on Thursday as the Frontenac track squad arrived in Riverton for the Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League meet. "The guy working there asked him what he wanted to move it to and Taylor said 14-1 (14 feet, 1 inch), which was an odd increment. He already won the meet and the guy asked him, 'Is 14-0 the school record?' He said 'Yeah.' They moved it up to 14-1 and he went over it pretty easy."
Johnson had just cleared 13-0, hence the field worker's reaction to Johnson's request to raise the bar to 14-1.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) released its regional brackets for baseball and softball on Wednesday.
On the baseball side, defending Class 3A state champion Frontenac (18-0) earned a No. 1 seed in Class 4A and will host three games on Monday — a play-in game at 2 p.m. between Girard (2-16) and Parsons (1-15), a first-round game at 4 p.m. between Pittsburg (9-11) and Baxter Springs (7-10) and Frontenac will take on the Girard-Parsons winner in the 6 p.m. nightcap.
The Columbus Titans won their first Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League title on Wednesday, finishing the fifth of five official league tournaments with a 327 team score, 19 strokes better than both St. Mary’s Colgan and Frontenac, and Dawson Soper won the individual sweepstakes with a low round of 78.
The weather spat nice cool rain all tournament at Schifferdecker.
Officially the road team Tuesday night, the Frontenac Raiders closed out their regular season with a sweep of Southeast, 6-0 and 7-1.
Last season, the Lancers handed the Raiders their first loss of the regular season in Game 20. No go this season as Frontenac won both to close its back-to-back Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League championship season 17-1 overall, no doubt securing a No. 1 seed in the Class 4A regional next week.
Frontenac senior Lindsey Gorham won both games in the circle, pitching all 14 innings. She allowed seven hits in the first game and four in the second, striking out nine in the first and three in the second, and walking one hitter in each game.