A lot has changed for McPherson High’s softball team and Augusta since they met in 2014 for the Class 4A Division I state championship.
When the teams matched up here Friday, the Bullpups had only two wins to their credit while the Orioles were just a couple of games over .500 after a four-year stretch where they had finished second in the state, first twice and then fourth last year.
But the teams belied their records in a couple of terrific games, neither that were decided until late.
The Orioles scored three runs in the top of the seventh for a 4-1 victory, then pushed across two runs in the eighth inning of Game 2 for a 4-2 victory.
MHS fell to 2-12, but Bullpup coach Danica Fitzmorris said her team played closer to its potential than it has in quite some time.
“They really competed. Those were the best games we have played as of late,” Fitzmorris said. “That makes me feel better. We did some good things. We played better defensively.”
In the opener, it was 1-1 after six innings. The only Oriole run off Addie Fitzmorris was on a throwing error, while Elle Schrag had an RBI single to score pinch-runner Mayci James to account for the Bullpup run after Ariana Potter had stroked a pinch-hit single to start the fifth inning.
In the seventh, a couple of infield hits led Augusta to three runs. Fitzmorris took the loss despite pitching her best game of the year.
In Game 2, MHS led 1-0 until the sixth when Katie Payne blasted a two-run homer to give Augusta the lead. The Bullpups answered as Brooke Schrag parked a solo home run to tie it. Augusta cobbled together three singles and a double in the eighth, good for two runs.
Elle Schrag allowed only two hits over the first five innings before Augusta got to her for seven hits in the final three innings.
MHS, now 2-12, goes on the road Monday to Wellington.
There was no JV game.
• Game 1 •
MHS (1) — B. Schrag 3-0-1-0, Crist 3-0-1-0, Scott 3-0-1-0, Feil 3-0-0-0-, Fitzmorris 3-0-0-0, Giddings 2-0-0-0, Bruton 1-0-0-0, James 2-1-0-0, Potter 1-0-1-0, E. Schrag 2-0-1-1, Bruce 2-0-0-0.
• Game 2 •
MHS (2) — Crist 4-0-1-0, B. Schrag 4-1-1-1, Scott 3-0-0-0, Feil 3-0-1-0, Potter 2-0-0-0, E. Schrag 3-1-0-0, Guffey 2-0-0-0, Bruce 1-0-0-0, Fitzmorris 3-0-1-1, James 2-0-0-0, Giddings 1-0-0-0.