MHS softball drops a pair at Seaman

By The Mercury

The Manhattan High softball team scored a huge doubleheader sweep at league-leading and previously undefeated Topeka Seaman on Monday.

MHS held on to win the first game 4-3 and then rallied late to win the nightcap 5-4.

The Indians got on the scoreboard first in the opener, scoring three runs in the third. With one out, Savannah Thaemert singled to center and Kylie Smith followed with a single. After an out, Jenna Stigge doubled just inside the left-field line to score two. Tyler Hoyt followed with a single to drive in Stigge.

The 3-0 lead held up until the sixth, when Seaman scored two runs. Seaman’s Kylie Dillon reached safely on a wind-blown pop-up that dropped in the middle of the infield. With two outs, Dani Spence drove in Dillon with a single. Then Mary Constant singled and Spence scored when the ball was misplayed in the outfield, but the third out was recorded when Kori Bridegam threw out Constant at third on the tag by Madi Fief.

Manhattan answered with an insurance run in its half of the seventh. Thaemert singled, but was forced out at second on a Smith fielder’s choice. Bridegam bunted Smith over to second and Stigge hit a line drive RBI single off the second base bag to plate Smith and make the score 4-2.

That run proved to be big when the Vikings scored one and threatened for more in the bottom of the seventh. Seaman’s Erica Harper led off with a walk, and with one out, Jeris Thomas tripled to deep center to make the score 4-3 and put the tying run at third. But Aubrey Jung struck out Carly Smerchek looking and retired Dillon on a pop fly to shortstop to end the threat and preserve the win.

Jung (5-2) held Seaman to five hits and no walks, while striking out a season-high 11 batters. The Vikings came into the game with a team batting average better than .400 and had five hitters hitting .500 or better.

The Indians opened the second game with a run in the first, despite having two outs and no one on base. Stigge singled to center and stole second , with Hoyt hitting an RBI single to score Stigge.

Seaman answered in the bottom of the first with three runs, hitting a pair of RBI singles and getting a little help from the Manhattan defense, which committed two errors.

The Vikings added another run in the third when Constant hit a solo home run. It could have been worse had Caitlyn Claussen not made a solid defensive play the batter before.

The Indians closed the gap to 4-2 in the fourth when Hoyt walked, and her courtesy runner, Katelin Hoefler, scored after a sacrifice bunt by Jung moved her over and Fief reached on an infield error to score her.

Manhattan took the lead for good in the sixth. Jung and Thaemert led off the inning with singles, but Thaemert was erased at second while attempting to steal. Fief reached safely on a fielder’s choice, and then with two outs, Claussen and Smith singled to each drive in a run. Claussen scored on a wild pitch to give MHS the 5-4 lead.

Hoyt (2-5) scattered eight hits, while walking two and striking out two in her six innings of work. Jung came on in the seventh in relief, and after giving up a leadoff single, retired the next three on a popped-up bunt and two strikeouts to earn her second save of the season. Stigge added two more hits to cap off her night and all 10 Indians who came to the plate reached safely at least once.

The two wins push MHS’ record to 7-7, as the Indians prepare to host Highland Park this Friday.

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