David Reeder

It was the perfect weather for a soft ball game Monday evening at Kansasís Gene Longcrier Field.† And those in attendance witnessed a pretty fair contest, errors and all, as Kansas hosted cross county rival Jay.

††† The Cometsí starting pitcher, Haley Blackwood yielded a one out hit to her counterpart, Lauren Wilson, in the top half of the opening inning. But the Lady Bulldogs followed with a fielderís choice and a popup to right field to end the threat.† In the bottom of the inning, Wilson managed to pitch around a pair of two out walks with a strikeout, to get out of the jam, scoreless.

††† The Lady Comets threatened in the home halves of the 2nd and 3rd, but; they stranded their 3rd and 4th runners of the game, keeping things scoreless through three.† And in Jayís half of the 4th , Wilson greeted Blackburn with a vicious line drive up the middle, that struck the Kansas hurler and bounded away for Wilsonís 2nd base hit of the game.† Blackwood was able to shake off any ill-effects resulting from the line drive.† And despite a successful sacrifice bunt, advancing Wilson into scoring position, the Comet pitcher got the next 2 Jay batters to pop out.† In the bottom of the stanza, Blackwood worked Wilson for a leadoff walk and advanced to 2nd on a passed ball.† Blackwood subsequently swiped 3rd and came into score the gameís first run on a wild pitch.† But Kansas didnít lead the game for long as Jayís Meagan Ritter belted a Blackwood pitch out of the park and touched them all, for a 1-1 tie in the top of the 5th. Following Ritterís

dinger, an error in the Comet outfield put Caitlyn Allen on base.† And for all intents and purposes, it looked as if Allen had scored the go ahead run on Alexis Blankenshipís base hit. But, much to the consternation of the Bulldog bench and fans, Allen was called out at the plate.

††† After scoreless home half of the 5th, Wilson lead off the 6th with her 3rd hit of the day and moved to 2nd on a 1-out infield error by the Lady Comets.† But Blackwood fanned the next 2 batters to shut down another potential Jay rally.† The bottom of the 6th would prove to be the ultimate undoing of the Lady Bulldogs, as a two base error on Shannon Foremanís fly ball opened the door for a Kansas rally.† Foreman then scored the go ahead run on a wild pitch.† Amy Rackliff followed Foreman with a base hit.† Chelsea Winfield pinch ran for Rackliff and after moving to 2nd on a passed ball, she† stole 3rd and came home on Kristen Walkerís RBI single.† Walker and the Comets scored two more on a passed ball and another Lady Bulldog error to go ahead 5-1.

††† But Jay wasnít finishedÖjust yet.† Ritter reached base on the Lady Cometís 3rd error of the game, with no one out in the 7th.† And with Ritter on board, Allen pulled a long drive down the left field line, that left the park and was initially called foul. But the Bulldog bench protested that the ball had struck the foul pole on itís arc and that it should be ruled a homerun.† After some deliberation, the umpire concurred and ruled Allenís hit a 2-run homer, fueling protestation from the home bench. But Blackwood made the point moot by getting the next 3 Lady Bulldogs to ground out to the infield, preserving the 5-3 victory.