PRATT — The St. Mary’s Colgan softball team saw its season come to an end in the first round of the Kansas Class 2-1A State Softball Tournament after falling 5-3 to Sedan Thursday.
The eighth-seeded Panthers battled back and forth with the top-seeded Devils early in the game. SMC scored a pair in the top of the first to take first lead of the game before SHS answered with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Colgan regained the lead with run in the second, but several SMC errors in the last of the second led to Sedan scoring three runs — the difference in the game.
“We came out and scored like we wanted to, but they responded and we kind of put ourselves away with five errors. It’s hard to stay in a game with anyone when you make that many mistakes, especially at the state tournament,” Colgan head coach Kelsey Overacker said. “It was great to get here, but we didn’t want it to end that soon. The kids finished their season in a place where only eight teams get to by the end of the year, so we will take from that. We have a lot of returning talent, and getting them here to experience what it’s like and what it takes is a huge plus.”
The Panthers (6-17-1) are graduating three seniors from the 2016 team: Sydney Russell, Madison Marietta and Faith VanBecelaere.
“The three seniors will be missed,” Overacker said. “They were three of our top hitters and came through for us several times at the plate, especially during regionals. They were a lot of the reason we stayed alive and advanced to the state tournament.
“They are three great kids and we will miss them. I expect to hear great things with whatever they choose to do in life, and I wish them the best.”
Olivia Brynds started in the circle for the Panthers, pitching 1.1 innings and giving up five runs, two earned, on two hits and one walk.
Tabby Claeys came in relief and shut out Sedan in 4.2 innings of work. She allowed two hits and three walks, while striking out one.
Sedan’s Justi Sims pitched a complete game for the Devils. She allowed three runs on six hits, two walks and struck out five.
After Russell scored on a ground out in the top of the first, VanBecelaere — who had two hits on the day — gave SMC a two-run lead when she singled in Marietta.
A single by Sims with an error on the play in the outfield allowed Sedan to get on the scoreboard. The Devils tied the game up later in in the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Russell singled to right field in the second inning to drive in a run give Colgan a 3-2 lead.
Sedan didn’t go away, however, as they scored two runs on a throwing error to take a one-run lead. Another SMC throwing error later in the bottom of the second made the score 5-3.
Colgan got runners on second and third with one out in the top of third following double from Sophia Piccini, but the Panthers failed to bring a run home.
Marietta connected on a two-out double in the top of the seventh for her second hit in the game, giving the Panthers a chance at the comeback, but a ground out in the next at-bat ended the game.
Lucas Davis is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on twitter @LDsportswriter.