Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

6A Softball: Worth the Wait - Rural Advances to 5A Softball Semis

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

6A Softball: Worth the Wait - Rural Advances to 5A Softball Semis

Article excerpt

OVERLAND PARK -- It took a little longer than what Washburn Rural softball coach Brenda Holaday would have liked, but she'll take the end result.

The No. 2 seed Junior Blues knocked off No. 7 seed Garden City, 7- 4, in the first round of the Class 6A softball tournament Thursday at Blue Valley West after a 1 hour, 20-minute rain delay.

"I told our kids that it gave us a chance to finally settle down," Holaday said. "We came out really keyed up and scored a couple runs that first inning, but we weren't ourselves. I could tell we were really nervous and high-strung."

As precursor of things to come, the rain started when the two teams were taking the field for pregame introductions. However, at the start of the game, the rain didn't slow down Rural's Madison Roth. The freshman left-handed starter pitched a 1-2-3 top of the first and struck out the last two batters. Roth then led off the bottom half of the first with a triple to center.

With one out, Kelsee Henry singled to left, scoring Roth. Chloe Holman then followed with an RBI double to give the Junior Blues the early lead.

By the second inning, the rain had pretty much stopped, but in the top of the third, the Buffaloes cut the deficit in half with a run on two hits and a Rural error. But with one out and one on in the Rural half of the third, heavy rain fell, forcing the two teams and fans to head for shelter. When play resumed, Holman smacked a single on the first pitch with two strikes against her. The Junior Blues went on to score twice in the inning and tacked on three more in the fourth to go up 7-1. Holman finished with three hits (two doubles) and three RBIs.

"It's a tough spot to be in with two strikes, and I thought she attacked the ball really well today," Holaday said. "I thought Chloe Holman and Madison Roth were huge for us at the plate."

Roth had two hits, an RBI and a stolen base in the batter's box, and on the mound she gave up three runs on five hits while striking out six and walking two in 41/3 innings before being relieved by Henry, who gave up one run in the sixth. …

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