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 Southeast Lancers did what they needed to do. They got the hits going while keeping the Erie Red Devils from scoring in a 5-0 victory in the first game of regional play in Cherokee.
Though the Lancers put up a solid performance, it did take them a few innings to get things going in the game.
“I thought we came out kind of slow, we didn’t hit the ball the way we’re supposed to hit it in order to win this whole thing we started,” said head coach Mike Bowman.
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.
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.
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.
Girard native and Kansas senior pitcher Tanner Poppe tossed his best game of the season Wednesday and the Jayhawks defeated the Baker Wildcats 8-0 at Hoglund Ballpark.
Poppe retired the Wildcats 1-2-3 in the first, a sign of the smoothness achieved by Poppe during his seven innings of work. He allowed only a single hit, fielded a sharply-hit grounder behind his back in the second, retired the side five innings, fanned seven, walked none and reached only 70 pitches on the good old pitch count to improve his overall record this season to 3-3 and drop his ERA to 4.38.
He's been an important four-year contributor to the Pittsburg High baseball program.
Not in batting average, home runs, RBI or any hitting, pitching and defensive statistical category.
Until this week, he never recorded a hit at the varsity level and in fact, received limited playing time. His value transcends numbers and every team includes players like him who do not make the papers or the evening news.
In a time when certain players quit over playing time or transfer to another school or give up their sport or lash out at everybody in the world or cry and whine about not being a superstar, Pittsburg senior Evan Owen provides an example of a team player, somebody who simply enjoys playing baseball and being part of the guys.
The Girard Trojans found an offensive groove during their Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League softball doubleheader Monday against the Southeast Lancers.
The Trojans scored 29 runs on 22 hits to claim a convincing sweep, 14-6 and 15-0 in six innings. Girard collected 11 extra-base hits — seven doubles, one triple and three home runs.
“The girls were patient at the plate,” Girard head coach Jim Vinze said. “We’ve been preaching a focus on hitting strikes instead of bad pitches. Tonight, it seemed to pay off. We hit the ball pretty hard all night. Hopefully, that will continue to carry over as we go.”
St. Mary’s Colgan starting pitchers Christian Cedeno and V.J. Piccini combined to allow two runs on six hits during their complete game wins Thursday night against the Southeast Lancers at JayCee Ballpark.
Cedeno allowed one run on four hits and Piccini one run on two hits with the defense behind them committing a total of two errors over 12 innings during a 3-1 and 11-1 sweep of their Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League rivals.
“I thought on the mound we were very good again today,” Colgan head coach Mike Watt said. “V.J. and Christian were both sharp, pitched well and they gave us what we hope to get out of them all the time, an opportunity to win and that’s what they did.”
Clint Rider is the new head football coach at Hesston High, it was announced on Tuesday.
Rider said it was a long day of epic mixed emotions, as he told the current Southeast football team about his decision and current players, former coaches, former players congratulated Rider on his opportunity.
“Talking to the kids, 25 freshmen through juniors, it wasn’t easy,” Rider said Tuesday night. “It’s not only difficult for me, it’s an uneasy time for a 15- or 16-year-old kid and you don’t want to see kids in any type of pain. I’m definitely excited about the opportunity but it’s a difficult kind of day.
“It was definitely something I wanted them to find out in person from me. You don’t want your kids to hear about it through the grapevine or find out in the media. They deserve the respect to find out from me before somebody else. Any time you can do those things in person . . . I wanted to do it the right way. I wanted to tell them like I would want somebody to tell me.”