The Gardner-Edgerton High School softball team clobbered three home runs on their way to a 9-3 win over Sunflower League power Olathe North Thursday night at the Gardner-Edgerton District Activities Center. The victory improved the Trailblazers to 5-0 on the young season.
Junior designated player Haley Pruetting, junior right fielder Ellie Garrie, and junior second baseman Makenna Trout each launched dingers against the Eagles. The bombs helped the Blazers plate three runs in the bottom of the third inning and four runs in the bottom of the fifth. GEHS also received a strong 5? innings of pitching from senior starter Angelina Gear on their way to the triumph.
After the game, Gardner-Edgerton Joanne Calvin, head coach, spoke about her trio of home run hitters.
“That was Ellie Garrie’s first ever,” said Calvin, “and she was super excited. I think it’s her first of many. Harley and Kenna are just on fire. They’re hitting the ball hard, Harley even had a couple of drives that weren’t quite over the fence, but they’re driving it.”
Gear started the game off impressively from the circle, taking down the first three North batters in order, striking out two of them. Her team responded in the bottom half of the inning by staking her to a 2-0 lead. GEHS junior third baseman Erin Michael led off the Blazer side by taking first base after being hit by a pitch. Sophomore catcher Logan Ringel followed with a single up the middle that put runners on first and second with no outs. Trout then loaded the bases when she was hit by a pitch, and the Trailblazers had three on with zeri outs. Pruetting then grounded into a double play that scored Michael and moved Ringel to thirrd, and the Blazers were up 1-0. Garrie then took the very next pitch and drove it over the Eagle centerfielder’s head for a double, scoring Ringel. The Blazers took a 2-0 edge into the second inning.
In the top of the second, the Eagles earned their first run of the contest when senior shortstop Olivia Kyes smacked a double to right field that plated sophomore courtesy runner Mia Reppond and moved senior third baseman Kylar Valdez to third. However, that would be the only run North notched in the second inning, and the Blazers still held a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom half of the frame.
The Blazer power bats began their display in the bottom of the third inning. After Trout drew a 4-pitch walk to begin the frame, Pruetting blasted a 2-1 pitch deep over the left centerfield fence to give the Trailblazers a 4-1 lead. On the very next pitch, Garrie launched her shot over the left field wall, and the Blazer advantage had stretched to 5-1 after three complete innings.
The GEHS bats came alive again in the bottom of the fifth inning. Junior centerfielder Katie Thompson led off with a single to left, and then a sacrifice bunt by junior shortstop Kaylah Newman advanced Thompson to second base. Michael followed that with another single to left and Gardner-Edgerton had runners on the corners with one out. Michael then stole second in Ringel’s next at bat, and — one pitch later — Thompson scored on a wild pitch to make the score 6-1. Ringel then walked to put runners on the corners again, before Trout bashed a 2-0 pitch over the left field fence for a 3-run dinger and a 9-1 GEHS lead.
The Eagles scored two runs in the top of the sixth, but Pruetting — in as a relief pitcher — retired the North batters 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Olathe North was the Trailblazers’ biggest test of the season so far, and — according to Calvin — GEHS was up for it.
“They said it best out there,” Calvin said of her squad. “They got up for it. They worked together as a team. They were the louder, better team tonight. They did awesome.”
Offensively, the Blazers were led by Trout and Pruetting. Trout was officially 1-for-1 with a homer and 3 RBIs, but was 4-for-4 in plate appearances, while Pruetting was 3-for-4 with a home run — her 5th of the season — and 3 RBIs. Garrie went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, a home run, and an RBI, while Michael was 2-for-3 at bat with a double and reached base in 4-out-of-5 -plate appearances. Thompson went 3-for-4 with a double.