The No. 2-seed Wamego High softball team’s season came to an end Friday night when the Red Raiders lost to No. 7-seed Basehor-Linwood 1-0 in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament in Salina.
The single run scored by Basehor-Linwood came in the seventh inning and a collapse on the defensive end cost Wamego the tournament.
A hit-by-pitch put Basehor-Linwood’s batter on first base and the same runner stole second, followed by the theft of third on a Wamego dropped third strike.
Basehor-Linwood then connected on a single to drive in the lone run to win the game, ending Wamego’s perfect season.
“It was one inning that we just didn’t stay composed,” Wamego head coach Dawn Reed-Schultz said. “Our lack of experience kind of shined through a little bit, but we fought and it is what it is.”
Wamego ends its season at 23-1, a record Schultz is anything but ashamed of.
“We’ll come back,” Schultz said. “We only loose our second baseman, senior Morgan Dillon, and we’ll have everybody else back, more experienced and ready to go. Hopefully, we’ll be back — we expect to be back (at the 4A state tournament) next year.”
Schultz said after Friday’s loss that her team stayed in Salina on Saturday to watch the championship game, that way they can learn about the competition they could be facing in the years to come.
Three of Wamego’s four freshmen started, but all four did see playing time Friday.
Reed-Schultz said the freshmen were an important part of Wamego’s state run this season.
“They’re only going to get better from the experience they’ve had here,” she said. “We’ve asked a lot from the four freshmen that are on our varsity roster and they’ve come through in clutch situations.
“They’re going to continue to get better and we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with; there’s no doubt about it.”