Two-time defending Class 4A Division I state softball champion Augusta literally stole Game 1 from McPherson High here Thursday in the Bullpups’ season opener at Grant Complex.
Down 7-2, the Orioles scored a run in the fifth inning, which seemed meaningless at the time.
But then Augusta scored five times in the seventh to deal the Bullpups’ an 8-7 heartbreak. Bailea Crist took the loss, but she pitched a strong game until a couple of misfortunate plays behind her.
In Game 2, it was Augusta that was in command. The Orioles led 4-1 and it was still a 5-3 game going into the bottom of the seventh.
But it was McPherson that came up with some final-inning magic as it scored three times to steal back a 6-5 victory to earn a split, just as the teams did last year.
"I was really proud of our offensive game, except we had a lull mid Game 1," MHS coach Danica Fitzmorris said. "I thought we should have strung a few more hits together, but other than that, we hit the ball as well as I expected. Defensively, we made a few errors that we can not afford. Three in Game 1 and four in Game 2. We will continue to practice to perfect our craft, learn from our mistakes and strive for composure in those areas. "
In Game 1, MHS scored six runs in the second inning to grab a 6-2 lead, highlighted by Brooke Schrag’s three-run homer. But some key errors in the seventh inning allowed the Orioles to snatch away the victory.
Sheridan Scott had three hits in the losing cause, while in addition to Schrag's homer, Teagan Pacey had a double.
In the second game, Chelsey Kerr scored on a grounder to the left side in the bottom of the seventh inning for the game-winner. She was 3 for 4 in the game and Brooke Schrag had two hits.
Elle Schrag was the winning pitcher.
MHS lost the JV games, 14-1 and 12-0.
The Bullpups are on the road Monday to Mulvane. They'll play both the Wildcats and Great Bend in a triangular.
At-bats, runs, hits and RBIs
• Game 1 •
MHS (7) — Crist 4-1-0-0, B. Schrag 4-1-2-3, Kerr 4-0-1-0, Pacey 4-2-1-0, Scott 4-0-3-1, Feil 4-1-0-0, Stockham 4-0-1-1, James 3-1-0-0, E. Schrag 3-1-0-0.
• Game 2 •
MHS (6) — Crist 4-1-1-1, B. Schrag 3-2-2-1, Kerr 4-1-3-3, Pacey 4-0-0-0, Scott 4-0-1-1, Feil 3-0-0-0, Stockham 2-1-0-0, James 3-0-0-0. E. Schrag 3-1-1-0.