The best example of Free State High’s dominance over Leavenworth during Wednesday’s softball doubleheader at FSHS came in the first inning of Game 2.
After the first three Free State batters reached base — a Rosie Hull double, a Lauren Fox triple and a Maggie Hull walk — freshman shortstop Samantha O’Brien lifted a high fly ball to center field. O’Brien’s drive was plenty deep to score the tagging runner from third, but no one expected it to score Maggie Hull from second.
It did, the Firebirds jumped to a first-inning lead and went on to sweep the doubledip, winning Game 1, 8-1, and Game 2, 12-2, in six innings.
“When I saw coach (Pam) Pine telling me to go, I didn’t think twice,” Maggie Hull said. “I knew it was going to take a good slide, but I knew I could score. That was pretty awesome.”
What was even more incredible was what followed. With her teammates so used to watching her cross the plate, hardly anyone in the FSHS dugout even blinked when Maggie returned from home.
“Everyone said good job and high-fived me and all of that,” Maggie said. “But I think Rosie and I might have been the only ones who even realized what had happened.”
Must have been how Leavenworth felt. Three hours after the Firebirds threw out the first pitch, the Pioneers were sent home with two losses, just three runs and a total of five hits.
Several Firebirds were responsible for the sweep. Starting pitcher Megan Smith threw 13 innings, picked up two victories and struck out eight, including five in Game 1. Kelsey Leinmiller-Renick finished the day 4-for-7, with two triples, three runs scored and the game-clinching RBI in Game 2.
“I like to think we’re all capable of hitting on this team,” said Leinmiller-Renick, who hit in the No. 8 spot in Game 2. “As a team, we just saw today as a way to try to get as many hits as possible each inning. We had good energy tonight.”
The top of the FSHS batting order was particularly potent. Maggie Hull reached base all eight times she stepped into the batter’s box — four doubles, two walks, a single — leadoff hitter Rosie Hull finished the second game 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs, and No. 2 hitter Lauren Fox also was 3-for-4 in Game 2, with two RBIs and three runs scored.
Free State improved to 3-1 overall, 2-0 in Sunflower League play.