What took three innings to obtain in Game 1 was replicated in the first and third innings of Game 2 and the Olathe North softball team used the strength of three two-run innings to sweep Lawrence High, 3-0 and 6-2, Tuesday at Holcom.
As was so often the case last season, the Lions played solid defense most of the night but could not get their offense going.
Despite three singles from clean-up hitter Lauren Massey and two more from No. 2 hitter Jamie Morgison, the Lions threatened just once in Game 1 when they loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the third but left all three runners stranded when the final two batters of the innings struck out.
“We put runners on base tonight but couldn’t do anything with it,” LHS coach Reenie Stogsdill said.
The Lions were not silent at the plate all night. In the fourth inning of Game 2, LHS scored two runs and cut the O-North lead to 4-2. Jamie Jarrett led off the inning with a single and later scored on an RBI groundout from Kasey Waite. Two batters later Kelsey Kilburn singled and drove in Massey, who had reached base earlier in the inning on a fielder’s choice.
“It was nice to get some runs on the board and start hitting the ball a little bit,” Stogsdill said. “But we have to give Lauren (Massey) more support than that.”
Later in the second game, LHS put a little more pressure on the Eagles in the bottom of the sixth when Massey doubled and Waite singled to piece together back-to-back hits. The two reached second and third base before being stranded to end the inning.
After a full night, Massey finished with seven strikeouts on the mound and four hits at the plate. Her most memorable moment, however, came in the top of the fifth inning when Olathe North’s Sam Talley smoked a line drive back up the middle at Massey’s head. Without hesitating, she rushed her glove in front of her face, knocked the ball down and fired to first for the out. After recording the assist, she calmly informed her teammates of the situation — two outs, play’s at first, one smashed face averted.
“That was pretty much all instincts,” Massey said. “We practice it, too. So I should be able to make that play.”
Although the Lions were swept, all was not lost. Tuesday marked the return of sophomore catcher Kristen Bell, who missed the first two games of the season because of a broken foot she suffered during the last week of basketball season.
Bell was cleared to play by doctors Tuesday morning and reached base two of the six times she was up to bat in her return. In addition to her contributions at bat, Bell provided steady play behind the plate, including a lunging grab of a foul ball in the seventh inning of the opener.
“It was really nice having her back,” Massey said.
With the sweep, the Lions fell to 0-4 on the season and will play host to another doubleheader Thursday against Olathe Northwest.