Stevie Stockham is in McPherson High’s softball lineup because of her flashy glove, not necessarily because of her bat.
While Stockham starts at third base for the Bullpups when ace pitcher Madison Hoffman is on the mound, Stephanie Farney is the designated hitter in her place.
But when Farney injured her shoulder in the third inning of Friday’s opening game of a triangular against Goddard Eisenhower, Stockham was inserted into the batting order.
She responded with the game-winning hit in the 11th inning as it may be the kick-start the Bullpups need to get on a roll. Her single scored Hannah Marshall for a 9-8 victory.
MHS completed the sweep with an 11-7 victory over Salina Central to finish the first half of the season with a 6-4 record.
“We made four goals,” MHS coach Danica Fitzmorris said. “One was to compete through the whole game and make sure that we won every inning. And we tied three innings and lost one inning, but we won every other one. So I’m proud of them. The focus was a little bit better.”
The Bullpups had to get off the deck, as they trailed 7-3 through 3 1/2 innings. But they methodically chipped away and finally tied the game at 8-all after five innings.
Hoffman and Goddard Eisenhower relief pitcher Logan Wenzel then settled down to throw zeroes for five straight innings.
But in the 11th, Marshall got things rolling with a single and Chelsey Kerr doubled. After Hoffman made an out, Stockham picked on the first pitch and drove a clean single for the winner. She had entered the game just 1 of 11 and had gone 0 for 3 before delivering.
“When she made an out that last inning, she told me, “I’m going to get it next time coach. And I knew going in I was not going to hit for her. She needs that confidence.'”
Kerr had three hits for MHS, including a double. Marshall, Wann and Elle Schrag all had two hits. Schrag had a key double in a two-run fifth inning after she had fouled off a passel of pitches.
Hoffman went all 11 innings in an iron-woman performance to pick up the win.
The Bullpups completed the sweep against Central, buoyed by an eight-run fourth inning that put them ahead 9-2. Central did make things interesting with five runs in the fifth, but could do no more damage after that.
Marshall had three hits, while eight other Bullpups had one each. Marshall, Hoffman, Jasmine Wann and Bailea Crist all stroked doubles. Wann and Gracy Feil drove in two runs apiece.
Schrag was the winner, with Hoffman earning a save.
The MHS JV team improved its sparkling record to 8-2 with a sweep.
The Bullpups outlasted Goddard Eisenhower, 9-7. Sheridan Scott was 3 for 4 with three RBIs, while Kaylee Hardin and Gracie Bruton added two hits and two runs scored.
Kenzie Goering was the winner, allowing only two earned runs and striking out five.
MHS won the second game over Salina Central, 12-2. Goering was again the winner, fanning six, and received offensive support from Grace Colaw (three hits, two RBIs) and Hardin (four runs scored, two hits).
MHS is on the road Monday to play Buhler.
Vs. Goddard Eisenhower
MHS (9) — Crist 6-2-1-0, Wann 5-0-2-1, Marshall 5-2-2-1, Kerr 6-1-3-1, Hoffman 6-1-1-1, Farney 2-0-0-0, Stockham 4-0-1-1, E. Schrag 3-2-2-0, Feil 5-0-1-1, James 4-1-1-0.
Vs. Salina Central
MHS (11) — Crist 3-2-1-1, Wann 3-1-1-2, Marshal 4-1-3-2, Kerr 4-1-1-1, Hoffman 4-1-1-1, Farney 3-1-1-1, Scott 4-1-1-0, E. Schrag 2-1-0-0, Stockham 1-0-1-0, Feil 3-2-1-2.