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Morning Sun
  • St. Mary's Colgan softball advances to state

  • The St. Mary’s Colgan softball team is going to the Class 3A state playoffs, and they owe it to Morgan Gilmore.



    Gilmore gave one of the most dominant performances by a high school athlete in Tuesday’s 5-3 regional final win over previously unbeaten Humboldt. Gilmore allowed just two hits and struck out 19 batters.

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  • The St. Mary’s Colgan softball team is going to the Class 3A state playoffs, and they owe it to Morgan Gilmore.
    Gilmore gave one of the most dominant performances by a high school athlete in Tuesday’s 5-3 regional final win over previously unbeaten Humboldt. Gilmore allowed just two hits and struck out 19 batters.
    “I thought I had 18. But I’ll take 19,” Gilmore said after the game.
    As if that weren’t enough, she also hit a two-run home run in the first inning to put the Panthers on top.
    “That has got to be some sort of record,” said Colgan head coach Abby Farabi. “She has put us on her back and carried us. We might as well get her a saddle. The other girls showed up and fought hard all night long.”
    On defense, there wasn’t much to do. A flyout and a foulout in the sixth inning were the only non-strikeout outs. Gilmore struck out the first nine batters of the game.
    The only trouble she got into was in the fourth. Brianna Kline got on base with an infield single and made her way to the plate on a stolen base, a wild pitch and an illegal pitch. A strikeout later, and Gilmore gave up her only walk of the game. It came at an inopportune time, as Kylee Carson got the only other hit of the game, a two-run home run to take the lead, 3-2.
    Colgan was not done, however, and responded immediately in the top of the fifth inning. Of course, Gilmore was a part of it. She hit a deep single to right field that bounced off the right fielder’s glove, putting runners on the corners.
    After an RBI sac bunt, Sidney Beck hit a triple to retake the lead for Colgan.
    In the sixth inning, the Panthers added a run on Jordan Fleming and Amanda McBride’s back-to-back doubles.
    The team (17-6) will head to Manhattan for the Class 3A championships after upsetting 20-1 Frontenac in a dramatic game, then turning around and beating Humboldt moments later. After being presented the regional championship trophy, Gilmore was the only one who held it for several minutes after the game.
    “I couldn’t let go of it. It’s the championship trophy. It was crazy, because after the Frontenac game, we knew we had the momentum,” Gilmore said. “You never know what can happen in a game.”
    Farabi said she knew all along that her girls would leave Cherokee the regional champions.
    “No one else did, but we did,” Farabi said. “If Morgan’s pitching like this, we’ve got a legitimate chance. We depend on Morgan. If she’s on, we’re on. We have to work out some kinks this week, but we did a great job. We faced what we had to overcome, and the girls did a great job.”
    Page 2 of 3 - St. Mary’s Colgan 10, Frontenac 9
    While the regional finals were dominant for the Panthers, the upset victory over the Frontenac Raiders. Frontenac only had one loss on the year coming into the game, but Colgan advanced with a 10-9 victory.
    It seemed as though the wheels fell off for Frontenac, as they committed a number of uncharacteristic errors.
    “We made nine errors. We had more errors than hits,” said Frontenac coach Cassie Buche. “We couldn’t have done any more to give them the game. Nothing.”
    Much of the early damage for Colgan was done in the third inning. Already up 1-0, the Panthers scored five runs in the third inning. That included a two-run single by Katie Kolarik, followed two batters later by a two-run double by Taylor Bolinger.
    “[The two-run double by Bolinger] was huge,” Farabi said. “I tell her to go in there, and swing hard. Half the time, you don’t know what is going to happen, but half the time she hits it pretty hard.”
    Frontenac would not go away easily, though. In the bottom of the fourth, the Raiders would score four runs, including two runs off a Colgan error. In the fifth inning, the Raiders would even tie up the game. Jennifer Long was hit by a pitch and stole two bases, scoring on a sacrifice bunt. Later in the inning, Libby Warrick would hit an RBI double to tie the game.
    The drama continued, as Colgan responded in the top of the sixth. After Emily Dickey and Morgan Gilmore reached base on a double and a walk, both would eventually score. In the seventh, the Panthers added two more runs, off an RBI sacrifice fly by Gilmore and an RBI off an error. Frontenac would have three errors in the inning as Colgan stretched their lead to 10-6.
    Frontenac certainly made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh. Fields reached on a walk and Long knocked her in thanks to a successful bunt and a pair of bad throws by the Colgan defense. She would eventually score on a double by Rachel Amershek to make the score 10-8 with one out. After a wild pitch and a dropped popout, Frontenac had runners at second and third, with the potential winning run at home plate.
    Sam Bonner hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring one. But as the other runner attempted to advance to third on the sacrifice, she was thrown out well short, ending the game and sending the Panthers to the regional finals.
    “I think we always get nervous when we’re ahead, because we walked them, then we dropped the pop fly,” Farabi said. “You can’t let Frontenac get on base, because they’re very good on the bases. One run is Ok, but not four. They were overly aggressive on the last out, and we capitalized.”
    Page 3 of 3 - The Raiders were pushed by the pitching of Lindsey Gorham, who had 10 strikeouts and three walks.
    “Offensively, this was the best team I’ve ever coached,” Buche said. “I’ve told the girls all year that defense wins ballgames. We just didn’t show up defensively this game. Give Lindsey credit, though, she pitched a good game. She puts so much pressure on herself. I can’t be mad at a kid for trying too hard.”
    Class 3A Regional Finals
    at Southeast High School
    St. Mary’s Colgan 5, Humboldt 3
    SMC    200    021    0    —    5  7  0
    HUM    000    300    0    —    3  2  4
    Morgan Gilmore and Katie Kolarik. Jaci Ross and Morgan Morris. WP — Gilmore. LP — Ross. 2B — Jordan Fleming, Amanda McBride. 3B — Sydney Beck. HR — Gilmore; Carson.
    Class 3A Regional semifinals
    St. Mary’s Colgan 10, Frontenac 9
    FHS    000    420    3    —    9  8  6
    SMC    105    002    2    —    10 12 9
    Morgan Gilmore and Katie Kolarik. Lindsey Gorham and Sam Bonner. WP — Gilmore. LP — Gorham. 2B — Nayna Fields, Libby Warrick, Rachel Amershek; Taylor Bolinger, Emily Dickey.
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