Archive for Friday, July 18, 2003

Tourney will test Legends

July 18, 2003

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Now the Lawrence Legends get down to business.

The Legends, an 18-and-under softball team, begin play in the Kansas North State Tournament at 6 p.m. tonight at the Johnson County Girls Softball Complex in Shawnee.

Lawrence (20-16) is coming off a second-place finish at the Johnson County Girls Athletic Assn. league tournament last Saturday. The Legends lost to the KC Bombers, 4-1, in the championship game.

And, compared to the Legends' league, their pool-play opener tonight against Kansas City's Thrillers should be even tougher.

"It'll be a lot stiffer," shortstop Jenni Morrell said. "On a level from one to 10, it'll probably be about an eight."

Lawrence will then play Kansas Best Mad Dawgs at 7:30 p.m. Seeds for Saturday's games depend on pool-play record, and with 10 teams entered in the 18-and-under division there's not much room for error.

Infielders Lauren Abney (.304) and Meika Potter (.325) are the only Legends hitting over .300 -- though neither has played more than 22 games.

Morrell leads Lawrence in RBIs, with 16, followed by third baseman Danielle Huff (13). Catcher Jennifer Narcomey is tops in runs with 26.

Felicia Freeman and Leigh Anna Thompson provide the Legends' 1-2 pitching punch. Freeman, 9-6 with a 1.82 ERA, edges Thompson (7-7, 1.83) in both categories, though Thompson has 53 strikeouts to Freeman's 38.

They, along with the Legends' defense, are the key to success this weekend -- since they average only three runs a game.

"The pitching and the defense is really good," coach Martin Johnson said. "But if we can only score one or two runs a game, that's not enough."

Of course, most of the fun comes from simply playing softball during the summer, even if the league isn't ultra-competitive. Some might consider league play a respite from better teams.

Morrell, for one, can't wait to see what awaits Lawrence today.

"Well, yeah, I'm excited," she said. "We kinda had a break from softball, so I'm ready to get back to playing."

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