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Indians cruise to sweep Highland Park

By The Mercury

The Manhattan High softball team bounced back from a doubleheader loss to Centennial League and Class 6A leader Washburn Rural to collect two easy wins at Highland Park Thursday.

Both games were run-ruled victories with Manhattan winning 16-1 in five innings in the opener, and 23-3 in six innings in the nightcap. The games were make-up games that were rained out last week and come in the middle of a span of three doubleheaders in three days.

In the first game, the Indians used consistent scoring in the first four innings before breaking out for eight runs in the fifth.

They opened with two runs in the first when Kylie Smith walked to start the inning, moved to third when Jenna Stigge’s grounder was misplayed, then scored on a passed ball. After a walk to Tyler Hoyt, Allie Massanet singled to score Stigge.

Highland Park scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the first, when the first two batters bunted and reached safely on defensive miscues. The Scots then scored from third on the back end of a double steal to make the score 2-1.

Manhattan came right back with two in the second on singles by Alex Perez and Savannah Thaemert. After Smith reached on a fielder’s choice that retired Thaemert, a one-out single by Bridegam scored Perez and a groundout by Stigge scored Smith.

MHS scored three more in the third, as Aubrey Jung doubled to start the inning, then Madi Fief reached on an error and when the ball was overthrown down the first base line, Jung scored from second and Fief came all the way around to score on the play. Thaemert re-ignited with a triple and scored on a single by Smith.

The Indians scored again in the fourth to make the score 8-1. Bridegam led off the inning with a single. A single by Stigge moved her to third, and she scored from third on a passed ball.

Manhattan High broke the game open in the sixth by scoring eight runs. In the inning, Fief, Bridegam, Stigge and Katelin Hoefler all singled and came around to score. Smith doubled, drove in two and eventually scored. Thaemert walked and scored. Hoyt, Hoefler and Perez each drove in runs.

Jung picked up the win, as she allowed only one base hit over her five innings, while striking out five and walking one. Bridegam led with way with three hits and scored two runs. Kylie Smith scored three runs, had two hits and drove in two. Stigge, Perez and Thaemert each hit safely twice.

The second game started much the same way. The Indians scored twice in the first. Bridegam advanced all the way to third on an error, then scored on Stigge’s groundout. Hoyt walked, advanced on a single by Jung, and scored on Massanet’s single.

In the bottom of the first, Highland Park got a single, advanced on a bunt and scored after a couple passed balls.

MHS scored two more in the second. Perez walked and moved to second on Caitlyn Claussen’s sacrifice bunt. She scored on Smith’s triple. Smith scored on a wild pitch.

The Indians scored a single run in the third. Fief walked with two outs. Perez reached on an error and Claussen singled to score Fief.

Manhattan scored four more runs in the fourth. Bridegam singled and stole second. Stigge bunted for a base hit, then stole second. Bridegam scored on Hoyt’s groundout. Jung doubled to drive in Stigge, followed by a Massanet single. Thaemert came in to run for Massanet. When Thaemert stole second, Jung scored from third on the last part of a double steal. Perez drove a ball to center that was misplayed and scored Thaemert.

MHS tallied three more runs in the fifth. Smith tripled to open the inning, and scored on Stigge’s single. Hoyt was hit by a pitch and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Stigge scored on Jung’s groundout and Hoyt scored on a wild pitch.

The Scots kept the game going in the bottom of the fifth when McCracken and Morgan Brooks each singled. Both scored on a triple by Lindsey Brooks to make the score 12-3.

The Indians retaliated with an 11-run inning. Perez, Claussen and Smith each scored twice. Eight different batters scored, including Sydney Bannister’s first score of the season. Fief and Perez each drove in two runs.

Hoyt picked up her third win. She allowed seven hits and one walk, with four strikeouts. Kylie Smith and Aubrey Jung each had three hits. Bridegam, Stigge, Massanet and Claussen added two hits apiece. Stigge, Smith, Jung, Fief and Perez had multiple RBIs.

The wins pushed Manhattan’s season record to 9-9 and league record to 9-7 with the final regular season games to be a make-up doubleheader scheduled with Emporia today at Anneberg Park.

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