LHS softball splits vs. SMS

Marly Carmona had experienced countless better days on the softball diamond.

Lawrence High’s senior second baseman hadn’t found her timing in the batter’s box Thursday during a doubleheader with visiting Shawnee Mission South. After she struck out three times, grounded out another and reached on a fielder’s choice, the Raiders decided to intentionally walk LHS sophomore Sophie Taylor to load the bases for Carmona in the bottom of the fifth inning in the second game.

The Lions already had dropped the opener to SMS by a run and, down one, seemed on their way to a repeat performance. But with two outs, and three of her teammates on base, Carmona, whose frustrations had nearly driven her to tears earlier in the twinbill, smacked the first pitch she saw from Raiders pitcher Katlyn Schiefen deep down the left-field line.

Her aggressive swing led to a critical three-run error, as SMS left fielder Elizabeth Obeidat dropped the fly ball, scoring Jolona Shield, Andrea Mills and Taylor, and giving LHS its first lead of a 5-2 comeback victory.

“I wasn’t doing good hitting, and I was struggling,” a smiling Carmona said after finishing the day 0-for-6, but providing a pivotal swing. “But as soon as I saw them put me in that situation, I was like, ‘I’ve got to do something. Something big, so I can score them and we can get the lead.’ I knew if we got the lead, we’d get the win.”

LHS coach Joe Dee Tarbutton got after his senior earlier in the doubleheader for not being aggressive at the plate. Carmona saw five straight off-speed pitches in her previous at bat, so before her final plate appearance, the coach told her to square around, wait, “and if you like it, drive it.”

The first-year Lions coach appreciated the second baseman’s leadership in following his instructions, and was proud to see her make something happen.

“Yes, it was an error,” Tarbutton said, laughing. “But we also gave them lots of opportunities, so I don’t feel bad about that.”

The Raiders booted four errors in the loss, making Morgan Byrn’s run-scoring single (one of only five Lions hits) in the sixth inning Lawrence’s lone RBI of the victory.

LHS (5-3) lost the first game, which counts for the Sunflower League standings, 2-1, and Shield drove in the sole run. Junior Megan Sumonja threw all seven innings of Game 1, only allowed one earned run, struck out seven and gave up five hits in a loss.

Shield followed in the win, surrendering one earned run on nine hits, while walking two in seven innings and fanning the first batter she faced.

SM South 2-2, LHS 1-5

SM South 011 000 0 — 2 5 0

Lawrence 100 000 0 — 1 5 1

W — Abby King. L — Megan Sumonja.

LHS highlights — M. Sumonja, 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 7 K, 3 BB; Jolona Shield, 2-for-3, RBI; Sophie Taylor, 2-for-3; Morgan Byrn, 1-for-3, R.

SM South 100 100 0 — 2 9 4

Lawrence 100 031 X — 5 5 2

W — Shield. L — Katlyn Schiefen.

LHS highlights — Shield, 1-for-2, R, 7 IP, 1 ER, K, 2 BB; Brook Sumonja, 1-for-2; Kenzie Garvin, 1-for-3; Kristen Gile, 1-for-3; Byrn, 1-for-4, RBI, R.