The Manhattan High softball team opened the 2013 season with a split at Topeka High on Friday, winning the first game 8-7 in eight innings and losing the second 6-5 in a pair of back-and-forth games.
The Trojans were one of the top teams in the Centennial League last year, and return most of their lineup from a team that swept MHS.
In the first game, MHS opened the scoring in the third when, with one out, Savannah Thaemert was hit by a pitch and stole second. Kylie Smith followed with a triple to right center to make it 1-0.
Topeka answered in the fourth, scoring three runs off the Indians’ Aubrey Jung.
The Indians retook the lead in the fifth, scoring three runs of their own.
Thaemert again started the rally as she led off the inning with a walk. She scored when Smith singled and the Trojans made an infield error. With Smith on third after the error and a wild pitch, Kori Bridegam hit a sac fly to left to make it 3-3. Jenna Stigge followed with a single and scored on a double by Tyler Hoyt.
Topeka took a 5-4 lead in the sixth when the Indians committed four errors to allow the Trojans to score two runs without the benefit of a hit.
The Indians scored twice more in the seventh for a 6-5 lead when Allie Massanet was hit by a pitch. Kiersten Kramer followed with a single and Alex Perez doubled to score both runners.
The Trojans tied the score in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out error.
MHS took the lead for good in the top of the eighth, as Stigge walked with two outs and Hoyt doubled her home. Jung followed with a single and Massanet singled to score Hoyt.
Topeka did score a run in its half of the eighth and threatened to tie or take the lead with runners on first and third and two outs, but the Indians got the final out on a pop up to Massanet to end the game.
Jung picked up the complete-game victory, giving up eight hits but striking out four with no walks. Three of the runs charged to her were unearned.
In the second game, Topeka High took 1-0 lead in the first inning, but MHS countered in the third with three runs, taking advantage of a pair of Trojan errors.
With two outs, Smith walked, Bridegam singled and Stigge loaded the bases on an error. Hoyt then reached on an error to score Smith. Jung and Massanet each hit RBI singles to stake MHS to a 3-1 lead.
The Trojans evened the scored in the third.
MHS jumped ahead by two in the fourth when Caitlyn Claussen walked and Perez was hit by a pitch. Smith reached on an error to score Claussen, and another Trojan miscue on defense set up the chance for Hoyt to get an RBI with a groundout.
Topeka got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth as MHS committed two errors in the inning.
The Indians still held a 5-4 lead going into the seventh. After one out, the next batter reached on an error, followed by a single that was misplayed, allowing two runs to score to let Topeka escape with the split.
Hoyt took the loss, allowing eight hits, while striking out two and walking one with four earned runs .
MHS will play its first home games of the year Friday when it hosts Hayden at 4 p.m. at Anneberg Park.