More often than not, it takes a well-pitched game to end a slump.
For McPherson High’s girls softball team, that’s what it took here Monday to end a three-game skid.
Elle Schrag delivered a clutch pitching performance in Game 2, as she stifled Circle for a 3-1 victory after the Thunderbirds had rallied to win Game 1, 7-6, after trailing 4-0.
The split leaves the Bullpups at 3-5 on the season.
Schrag went all seven innings and threw 65 strikes out of 87 pitches. She received outstanding defensive support as the Bullpups made several fine plays in the field.
“She has shown great control and poise on the mound,” MHS coach Danica Fitzmorris said. “She’s been pitching well. She does a good job of keeping the ball down.”
The Bullpups had to overcome a 1-0 deficit to pull out the win. They struck for two runs in the fourth and added another in the fifth.
Schrag danced around land mines as she did give up 10 hits, but wiggled out of numerous jams.
Bailea Crist, who’s been hotter than the July weather, had three hits and two RBIs to lead the Bullpups. Chelsey Kerr was 2 for 3.
The second-game win eased some of the sting of the Game 1 loss. MHS was cruising with a 4-0 lead after three innings, but the T-Birds scored seven runs over the next three innings. The Bullpups lost despite ripping 14 hits, including three by Crist (two of them triples), Stevie Stockham and Teagan Pacey. Kerr had two hits and three RBIs as the Bullpups wasted a good offensive effort. Crist was the losing pitcher and Addie Fitzmorris worked an inning of relief.
“Overall I was proud of our play tonight,” Danica Fitzmorris said. “The girls played much better defense with fewer errors than we have been posting. Still not completely clean, but an improvement.”
MHS heads to Goddard Eisenhower on Friday.
“Although our record doesn’t show it, we are gaining in areas we need to and looking to work hard through the rest of our regular season that is still chockfull of difficult games,” Fitzmorris said. “Our tough regular season will get us ready for our regionals in Hays with Buhler and Ulysses.”
The MHS JVs lost 13-0 and 18-3. MHS had four hits in the first game, two by Fitzmorris. The Bullpups also had four hits in the second game, one each by four players.
• Game 1 •
MHS (6) — Crist 4-2-3-0, B. Schrag 3-0-0-0, Kerr 3-2-2-3, Scott 4-0-1-1, Pacey 4-0-3-1, James 2-0-0-0, Stockham 4-1-3-0, Feil 4-1-2-0, E. Schrag 3-0-0-0.
• Game 2 •
MHS (3) — Crist 4-0-3-2, B. Schrag 4-0-0-0, Kerr 3-1-2-0, Scott 2-0-1-0, Pacey 2-0-0-0, James 3-1-1-0, Stockham 3-0-0-0, Feil 3-1-1-0, E. Schrag 3-0-1-0.