A long season of softball games ended on Thursday for two teams in the Lawrence Girls Fast Pitch Assn. 12-U league at Holcom.
In scorching heat, the Falcons took on the Mad Batters, with the Falcons winning the game, 15-5. Both teams showed good command of the skills they've been developing all season, and their grit and determination by battling through an afternoon more fit for swimming than playing on a ball diamond.
The Falcons started off the game strongly with their first three batters, Rachel Kelly, Megan Wilson and Courtney Parker, reaching base. All three scored e in the inning, and the team took a 3-0 lead.
The offensive output continued for the Falcons in the top of the second inning. Kelly had a triple and Wilson singled, with both coming around to score runs. Hannah Foerschler, Sydney Ramler and Maria Watson also had runs in the inning.
Mad Batters pitcher Abby Bays had a nice stop on a ground ball during the inning, throwing to first baseman Leslie Cunningham for the out.
Falcons pitcher Wilson was masterful in the first two innings, allowing just one Mad Batter to reach base during the span. She got some help from her infield as well.
Third baseman Kelly made a great play in the second inning on a ground ball, throwing to first baseman Allison McFall for an out.
In the same inning, shortstop Courtney Parker also had a fine stop on a ground ball off the bat of Erica Lignell, firing the ball to McFall for the third out of the inning.
The Falcons again scored five runs in the top of the third inning.
In the bottom of the third, the Mad Batters suddenly came to life.
Rosie Schaumburg and Gretel Perrin both reached base to lead off the inning. Caitlyn Tilden then hit a dribbler down the first base line to score Schaumburg. Tilden was plunked in the helmet by the ball as she ran to first on the play. Unfazed, Tilden stayed in the game and scored a run later in the inning, as did Perrin.
Bailey Schaumburg scored the fourth run for the Mad Batters in their big inning, and Leslie Cunningham dramatically slid home for the fifth and final run of the inning.
The Batters wouldn't have another chance to hit, as the time limit was reached in the top of the fourth inning after the Falcons added two more runs.
For the Batters, who never stopped chanting in support of each other despite being down the whole game, their five-run outburst was indicative of the determined way that they have played this season despite a lack of softball experience.
This is the team's first year playing together, said Mad Batters coach Susan Soderberg, and many of them are gymnasts, which means they are physically on the smaller side.
"These guys have been real troopers," Soderberg said. "I think they do a wonderful job. I'm glad they had a comeback."
On the other sideline, the Falcons whooped it up, celebrating the end of their season.
"The girls were great," said sopping wet Falcons coach Pete Ramler, the victim of numerous water-cooler attacks by his players. "I hope they had as much fun as I did. It was a great summer."