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Archive for Friday, May 23, 2008

McLouth softball gears up for state

May 23, 2008

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McLouth High's softball statistics seem jaw-droppingly unrealistic. They're the kind of gaudy numbers typically reserved for the memory cards of the best sports video-game players.

But the figures are real.

And today, the rest of the state may find out just how real those numbers are when No. 2-seed McLouth (20-0) meets seventh-seeded Herington-White City (14-9) in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament.

Game time is 5 p.m. at Manhattan's Twin Oaks Complex.

To grasp the breadth of McLouth's dominance this season, consider this:

¢ In 20 games, McLouth has scored 235 runs and allowed just 11.

¢ The team's star pitcher, Lezley Lawson, is 12-0 in the circle. On the side, she is hitting .659 with seven home runs.

¢ Leadoff hitter Kendall Patterson has more doubles (23) than outs made (11). Her batting average: .810.

¢ During the Bulldogs' regular season, only one game made it beyond the five-inning mercy run rule.

Somehow, none of that comes as a surprise to coach Ballard Patterson, father of Kendall and freshman Kaley Patterson, who is batting .539 herself.

"We came into the season and wrote down our goal sheet, and every kid said that they wanted to win a state championship," Ballard Patterson said.

Last year, McLouth took a 20-0 record into regionals, but lost to Silver Lake in the finals.

This time around, the Bulldogs - who missed out on the No. 1 seed because rainouts cost the team three games and a shot at being 23-0 - are not taking anything for granted.

"We've talked about being confident and not cocky," Kendall Patterson said. "We play against a lot of teams that we stomp, but the state tournament is going to be tall cotton. We're not going to do that to everyone."

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