GALENA — Southeast High School softball scored a run in the top of the seventh inning on a bases-loaded walk to break a scoreless tie on the way to 1-0 win over the Northeast Vikings Wednesday in the first round of the Kansas Class 3A Erie Regional Tournament.
With one out in the top of the seventh, senior Jordann Lunsford started the rally for the Lancers after collecting her fourth hit of the day with a single up the middle before a walk to senior Zoey Ball put runners on first and second. Senior Wyntr Jacobs reached base safely on a fielder’s choice ground ball, which loaded the bases with one away for SHS. Freshman Megan Colvin then drew a walk to force in the go-ahead run, which went on to be the game winner.
“I was real proud of our seniors in that last inning,” Southeast head coach Mike Bowman said. “We had back-to-back-to-back seniors come through, and it was good to see them succeed in that setting. In the dugout, they were constantly keeping the younger kids motivated as well.”
The contest between the Lancers and Vikings was a pitcher’s duel, pitting Colvin against NHS junior Kelsea Choate.
Colvin got the better of the matchup after going a seven strong innings to earn the win. She gave up three hits — two of which came in the top of the seventh — and struck out nine while walking one.
“Megan told me before the game that she was feeling it — she felt good, and she is a gamer,” Bowman said. “She gives you 100 percent, and she was mixing it up really well out there. I am really proud of her.”
Much of Colvin’s success in the circle, according to Coach Bowman, came from Ball calling a great game behind the plate.
“Zoey was calling the right pitches and keeping Northeast off balanced,” Bowman said. “She commanded the game like she’s never done before. She was a big key to Megan’s success.”
Choate pitched a solid game as well, taking the loss after allowing just one run all game in her seven innings of work. She scattered seven hits, struck out one and walked five for the Vikings.
“Choate did a great job,” Northeast head coach Scott Post said. “She hit her spots most of the time, and pitched a great game.”
The Lancers had several opportunities to score in the game, leaving 12 runners on base total, but Choate and the Viking defense came up time and again to keep Southeast off the scoreboard.
The Northeast defense turned a pair of double plays in the game, including a 2-3 double play where catcher Hailey Robinson fielded a bunt, stepped on the plate and threw to first for the force out without any damage done to end the top of the fifth inning after Southeast loaded the bases with no outs.
The second doubled play came in the top of the seventh, when NHS shortstop Maddy Walker fielded a bases-loaded ground ball up the middle, stepped on second and threw to first base to end the inning.
“Our defense was as good as it has been all year,” Post said. “I thought Maddy played as good as you can at shortstop. She made a few mind-blowing plays, and I told her after the game she was amazing. Hailey Robinson was a beast catching behind the plate too.”
Lunsford had a day in the box for the Lancers, going 4 for 4 with three singles and a double, scoring the only run in the win for Southeast.
“She definitely picked it up today,” Bowman said. “She didn’t hit the ball as hard as she normally does, but she found a way and also came through for the winning run.”
Robinson led the Vikings at the plate with a pair of base hits in the loss.
The Vikings finish the season with a 10-11 record.
Southeast will play in the regional semifinals against Riverton at 3 p.m. Thursday in Erie.
Lucas Davis is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @LDsportswriter.