Lawrence High softball coach Joe Dee Tarbutton’s mother died last week, and Tuesday’s doubleheader against Olathe South was the Lions’ first home appearance since her death.
The LHS players showed support for their coach by hanging a banner in center field and tying ribbons in their hair to represent the loss of Tarbutton’s mom.
With those tributes as backdrop, the Lions split the doubleheader. They lost the opener 4-1 before rallying for a 6-4 victory in Game Two.
Tarbutton wasn’t too disappointed by the loss because junior pitcher Megan Sumonja pitched well enough to keep the Lions (4-2) in the game, but they couldn’t muster enough offense.
Sumonja pitched all seven innings, gave up four runs and had six strikeouts but suffered the loss.
O-South’s Lexi Thom earned the complete-game win.
“We haven’t seen Megan Sumonja’s best yet,” Tarbutton said. “She’s the toughest kid on the team.”
Game Two was a different story. LHS scored three runs in the first two innings and finished with 10 hits, twice as many as in the opener.
Sophie Taylor and senior infielder Marly Carmona hit back-to-back RBI singles in the sixth to clinch the win.
“I’m really happy for some of our kids that weren’t hitting well because they came through for us in the second game,” Tarbutton said about Taylor hitting 0-for-4 in the Game One. “They are coming together as a team, and that’s huge.”
Tarbutton said he has coached college teams such as Washburn, but he has never seen an infield as solid as the Lions’. Lawrence committed two errors on the night, but both came from the catcher position.
The girls on the current Lawrence High roster had never defeated Olathe South (5-1), Tarbutton said.
“We are Lawrence High, and we’re not a respected softball program, and it is now time to gain respect,” Tarbutton said. “They did, and they came through.”
Olathe South 002 000 2 — 4 8 2
Lawrence 000 100 0 — 1 5 1
W — Lexi Thom. L — Megan Sumonja
2B — Jolona Shield, LHS. 3B: Kala Holder, OS.
Lawrence highlights: Megan Sumonja 7 IP, five Ks; Andrea Mills 1-for-1, RBI; Kenzie Garvin 2-for-2.
Olathe South 013 000 0 — 4 9 1
Lawrence 120 012 x — 6 10 1
W — Jolona Shield. L — Lauren Berry
2B: Kala Holder, OS. 3B: Andrea Mills, LHS. HR: Bailey Boxberger, OS.
Lawrence highlights: Mills 2-for-4, RBI; Sophie Taylor 3-for-4, RBI; Kristen Gile 2-for-3, RBI.