MHS softball splits at Junction City

By The Mercury

The Manhattan High softball team experienced the highs and lows in its doubleheader at Junction City on Tuesday.

Playing their third doubleheader in the last five days, the Indians experienced the highs in a 16-2 win in the opening game. The lows came in the second game when the Blue Jays rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score three runs in the sixth and take a 3-2 win.

In the first game, Manhattan put it all together with productive hitting, dominating pitching and stellar defense. The Indians got off to a great start, scoring three runs in the first inning. Kylie Smith opened with a walk and scored on Kori Bridegam’s double to the fence. Jenna Stigge’s hard-hit ball that followed was misplayed and she reached base safely. After consecutive outs, Allie Massanet singled to drive in Bridegam and Stigge.

The Indians scored in the second when Bridegam singled and Stigge drove her in with an RBI single.

Manhattan enjoyed a big inning in the third when 10 players stepped to the plate and six of them scored. Aubrey Jung reached on a walk and stole second base to lead off the inning. After a pair of outs, Perez hit an RBI double, with Savannah Thaemert reaching on an error and Perez scoring on the play. After Thaemert stole second base, Smith singled to center to drive her in. Bridegam doubled, and Stigge followed with a two-run single. Tyler Hoyt then singled to drive in Stigge.

Manhattan didn’t score in the next three innings, but added six more runs in the seventh.

Smith led off with a walk, with Bridegam and Stigge each singling and stealing a base. Hoyt followed with a run-scoring single and Jung hit a two-run double. Massanet singled and Madi Fief’s groundout scored Jung. Thaemert ended the scoring when her single drove in Massanet.

Meanwhile, Jung was dominant on the mound, posting six scoreless innings and striking out eight. Only three Blue Jays reached base safely in those six innings.

Junction City did rally for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to make the final score 16-2.

Bridegam and Massanet each had four-hit games, while Stigge and Hoyt added three apiece.

The second game got off to a slower start as no runs were scored until the third inning.

In that inning, Caitlyn Claussen and Smith singled, but the Blue Jays got a double play on a failed bunt attempt. But Stigge followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position and Hoyt singled to drive in both.

The score stayed that way to the sixth inning, with neither team able to mount a serious scoring threat.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Blue Jay bats came alive. Junction City got two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out. Kori Kamm reached on a squeeze play to score one run, then Brittany Childs singled to score two more and give the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead.

Claussen singled with two outs in the top of the seventh, but Manhattan could not move her around to score the tying run.

Hoyt pitched a nearly perfect first six innings, as she allowed only two base-runners, both on singles in the fourth inning. That threat was erased on a double play.

Manhattan will only have a couple days off between games, as they host Topeka West at 4 p.m. on Friday at Anneberg Park.

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