Danica Fitzmorris said her McPherson High softball team experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows during Thursday’s key doubleheader here with Mulvane, which matched two teams that started the day 9-3.
In the end, the day finished right between those two emotions, as the Bullpups and Wildcats swapped one-run victories.
It was Mulvane winning the opener 5-4, while MHS garnered the split by hanging on for an 8-7 victory in the nightcap.
At 10-4, the Bullpups have put themselves in good position for a high regional seed. They complete their home schedule Tuesday with a doubleheader against El Dorado, before going on the road for their final two twinbills.
“We can continue to win and win our regional if we play solid ball,” Fitzmorris said. “These girls have it in them as a team and skill-wise, what they need is the positive support from family and fans, individual confidence throughout the entire game and quality coaching.”
In the first game, the Bullpups scored in the first inning and held that lead until the fourth when the Wildcats scored all five of their runs. Two errors opened the door, as other than that inning MHS pitcher Madison Hoffman was nails. She gave up only five hits total and walked only two.
“In the top of the fourth, they had two hits, an error on us, two sac flies, a double, another error and finally a fly out to end the inning 5-1,” Fitzmorris said. “This is when we need to learn to dig in and get the job done. We can’t make errors that lead to our opponents scoring big numbers. We have to be mentally tough and not make errors.”
MHS put together eight hits, including a triple and single by Hoffman. Marissa Axelson added two RBIs.
The second game was a roller coaster, as MHS led 4-0 early, only to see the Wildcats pull within 4-3. The Wildcats eventually went ahead 5-4 with a run in the sixth, but MHS exploded for four in the bottom of the inning for an 8-5 lead. Mulvane made it interesting with two runs in the seventh.
Elle Schrag went the first five innings before Hoffman came on to finish it out. Only two of the runs allowed were earned.
Chelsey Kerr hammered a triple among her three hits, while Hannah Marshall hit a home run. Jasmine Wann furnished two hits, as did Gracy Feil, as MHS totaled 11 in the game.
“I was happy to see that we continued an offensive attack all the way through the game,” Fitzmorris said.
The MHS JVs are 7-7 after dividing their games. MHS won the first game 8-7 before losing the nightcap, 13-10.
In the first game, Paige Gottwald was 3 for 4, while two hits were achieved by Olivia Rettig, Teagan Pacey, Elle Schrag and Teri Yates. Schrag had two triples and also was the pitcher.
In the second game, the torrid Gottwald and Mayci James had huge performances. Gottwald was 4 for 4 with three runs and four RBIs. She had a homer as did James in the second game, with that being a grand slam. Kaylee Hardin and Amanda Linden added two hits apiece. Pacey drove in two runs.
MHS (4) — Hoffman 4-1-2-1, Axelson 3-0-1-2, Marshall 3-0-0-0, C. Kerr 3-1-1-0, Wann 2-0-1-0, Cheek 3-0-0-0, Farney 1-1-1-0, Stockham 3-0-1-1, Feil 3-1-1-0.
MHS (8) — Hoffman 3-1-1-0, Axelson 3-1-1-2, Marshall 4-1-1-2, C. Kerr 4-2-3-1, Wann 4-0-2-1, Cheek 4-0-1-1, Farney 3-0-0-0, Feil 3-2-2-0, B. Schrag 1-1-0-0.