Coach Pete Logan
The Gardner-Edgerton High School softball team awakened their bats on Thursday, pounding the visiting Lady Lions of Lawrence High School in both games of a doubleheader and claiming two victories. The wins brought the Trailblazers back to .500 on the season at 7-7.
In Game One, the Blazers spotted Lawrence a 1-0 lead before heading into the bottom of the first inning. With two on and one out in the bottom of the 1st, GEHS senior second baseman Gabby Schultz lined a single into center that scored freshman 3rd baseman Erin Michael from 1st and moved senior shortstop Ashlyn Anderson from 1st to 3rd. Junior pitcher Payton Outler then notched an infield single that scored Anderson, and the Blazers took a 2-1 lead. The lead moved to 3-1 GEHS two batters later when the Lions’ 3rd baseman mishandled a ground ball from GEHS senior 1st baseman Amber Mott.
The Trailblazer lead grew to 5-1 in the bottom of the 2nd when Anderson blasted a 2-run, 2-out, opposite field home run — her first of the season.
The Lions made it 5-2 in their half of the third inning and then closed it to 5-3 in the top of the 5th when LHS junior shortstop Karly Johnson smashed a homerun to right centerfield.
However, the Blazers were determined to keep the Lions at bay. In the bottom half of the 5th, Schultz drove home Anderson with a single to center and then took 2nd base on the throw home that failed to beat Anderson to the plate. Outler then drove a double to the centerfield wall that scored Schultz from 2nd to put the Trailblazers up 7-3. Two batters later, Mott doubled to left field to make it 8-3 when Outler’s courtesy runner scored. Two batters later, Mott scored when junior left fielder Kailani Donham singled to center, and the lead was 9-3. Freshman designated player Makenna Trout followed Donham’s single with one of her own, scoring freshman center fielder Katie Thompson and making the score 10-3. A ground ball out by Michael then scored Donham, and an LHS throwing error followed and allowed Trout to cross home plate. The Blazers took a 12-3 lead into the top half of the 6th inning.
From there, Trailblazer sophomore Emma Crouch stepped into the circle to pitch the last two innings for the home team. Crouch retired the Lions 1-2-3 in both innings, recording 3 strikeouts, and the Blazers came away with a 12-3 win.
In Game Two, the Traiblazers jumped out to a big lead and never looked back.
After LHS throwing errors gave the Blazers a 2-0 lead and runners on 1st and 2nd with one out in the bottom of the 1st, Mott knocked a double to right that scored two runs to make the score 4-0. Later in the inning, Donham drew a bases-loaded walk that brought in another run, and the Trailblazers led 5-0 after one complete.
The GEHS offensive onslaught continued in the home half of the 2nd inning. With one out, Anderson smashed a double to center. Schultz then hit a fly ball that was mishandled by the Lions’ center fielder, allowing Anderson to score and Schultz to take 2nd base. Another misplayed ball in the Lions’ outfield allowed Blazer junior right fielder Lauren Lundy to take 2nd and advanced Schultz to 3rd. One out later, the third LHS error of the inning — a throwing error by the 3rd baseman – scored Lundy and Schultz on Mott’s 2nd inning at-bat. Trailblazer freshman outfielder Lauryn Karr then smacked a double to right, scoring Mott and giving GEHS a 9-0 lead. A fourth error of the inning allowed Karr to score and put Donham on 1st. Then Trout smashed a homerun to right centerfield and the Blazers were up 12-0. The Trailblazers picked up one more run in the inning to take a 13-0 advantage into the 3rd.
For the third consecutive inning, GEHS freshman pitcher Harley Pruetting held the Lions scoreless and did not allow a ball out of the infield, setting up the Blazers for the bottom half of the frame.
In the home half of the 3rd, Mott stroked a one-out single to center. Two batters later, Donham slapped a double to right that scored Mott from 2nd base, and the Blazers held a 14-0 lead going into the 4th.
Though the Lions earned their first base runner of the game with a leadoff single to center by Johnson, the threat was extinguished one out later when the Blazers forced LHS into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play from Schultz, Anderson, and Mott.
It took just two batters for the Trailblazers to end the contest in the bottom half of the 4th inning. Michael led off the home frame with an infield single. Two pitches later, Anderson smashed a triple to the outfield wall, giving GEHS a 15-0 win on Kansas State High School Activities Association run-margin rules.
For the day, the Blazers were led offensively by Anderson who was 4-for-5 officially from the plate with a double, a triple, a homerun, and 3 RBIs. Anderson got on base safely in 7 out of 8 plate appearances. Schultz recorded a two-game total of 2-for-3 from the plate with 2 RBIs, and reached base on 6 out of 7 plate appearances. Mott went 3-for-5 with a double and 3 RBIs, while Lundy was 3-for-5 with 2 doubles, and 2 RBIs. Donham also had a solid day at the plate for the Trailblazers, going 2-for-3 officially with a double and 3 RBI’s, while reaching base in 5 out of 6 plate appearances.
Outler earned the Game One pitching win with 5 Ks in 5 innings, while Crouch pitched two innings of scoreless relief. Pruetting earned the Game Two win, allowing just one hit in 4 innings.