MHS softball splits at Topeka West

By The Mercury

The Manhattan High softball team used a late rally to defeat Topeka West 3-1 in the opener on Friday, but dropped the second game 10-0 to earn a split against the Chargers on the road.

In the first game, the Indians struggled to get runners on base for the first six innings, while battling through numerous Charger scoring threats.  MHS had only three girls reach base in that time, Aubrey Jung with a single in the fourth, Miranda Hemmert on an infield error in the fifth, and Linsdey Hageman with a single in the sixth. 

Meanwhile, Topeka West had runners at first and second in the third before Jung forced out the lead runner at third to Madi Fief and Hageman speared a line drive. 

In the fourth, a lead-off double by Topeka West and a sac bunt put the lead run at third with one out, but Jung struck out the next batter and Savannah Thaemert collared the third out with a running catch near the fence in center field. 

With two outs and nobody on in the top of the seventh, Manhattan started its rally.  Chelsey Henry singled to left and stole second. Hemmert’s ground ball tipped off the first baseman’s glove into right and she reached safely.

Sydney Bannister then came through with the big blow of the inning when she tripled to right center, scoring Henry and Hemmert all the way from first base.

Katelin Hoefler then singled to right to drive in Bannister.  Hageman followed with a single and Thaemert’s infield single loaded the bases, but Topeka West stopped the bleeding. 

Manhattan High batted around in the inning to take a 3-0 lead.

The Chargers attempted a comeback in their half of the seventh, getting a leadoff single, followed by two fly-ball outs.

Topeka West got an RBI single and the tying run up to the plate, but Jung finished the game with a strikeout.

Jung earned the win, despite allowing 10 hits. She struck out three and walked none.

In the second game, too few hits and too many fielding mistakes kept the Tribe from garnering the sweep. 

Topeka West scored two runs in the second, when with one out, the Chargers got reached on an error and the sacrifice bunt attempt was misplayed, allowing both runners to advance safely.  After a second out, Topeka West got a single to drive in both runs.

The Chargers scored four more in the third, when a one-out bloop single, a walk and a run-scoring single scored the fourth run of the game. 

Two straight infield miscues allowed two more runs to score. The Chargers took a 9-0 lead in the fourth when a walk and a single placed two runners on. The next two hitters were retired, but Topeka West’s Bayleigh Cope hit a three-run home run, her fifth hit of the day.

Topeka West scored a run in the seventh on three straight singles to end the game by run rule.

Manhattan challenged in three separate innings. 

Hageman and Thaemert both singled in the third, but the inning ended on a force-out.  Sydney Gold singled to lead off the fifth and advanced to second on a ground-out, but was stranded there.  In the sixth, Alex Perez and Fief each singed, but the chance ended on another force-out.

Hageman again came up with a multi-hit game with two hits. Thaemert, Perez, Fief and Gold collected the rest of the hits. 

Bannister pitched better than the score indicated, as she allowed five earned runs on nine hits and two walks, but five defensive errors contributed to the scoring spread.

The Indians host Seaman on Tuesday.

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