Special to the Grove Sun
KANSAS-If ever the term ‘snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory’ was an appropriate definition of an event it was Kansas’s performance against Miami Tuesday evening at Gene Longcrier Field. After falling behind in the middle innings, the Lady Comets came back late, only to have the Lady War Dogs take advantage of four Kansas errors in the seventh inning and take home the victory. The non-district game was a chance to showcase the talents of a pair of district champions in preparation for their respective regional tournaments.
Things started out well for the Lady Comets as starting pitcher Kristin Walker got the visitors down in order and her offense parlayed back-to-back-to-back walks with a throwing error to take an early 1-0 edge.
After a scoreless second, Miami pitcher Nicole Harris led off the third with a single and it appeared she would be stranded there when Walker got the next two down in order.
But Kansas committed the first of their half dozen errors on a Taylor Fields groundball that allowed Harris to tie the game. The Lady War Dogs struck for two more when Meagan Barnes lead off the fourth with a double that was followed by a walk and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Haley Hudson. Barnes and Hudson crossed the plate on a Kayla Chambers hit that was misplayed by the Lady Comet outfielder.
Kansas picked up a tally in the bottom of the frame when Barb Helton picked up a one-out single, moved to third on Courtney Cowan’s second hit of the game and scored on a Harris wild pitch.
Following a quiet fifth inning, Paige Fielden took over in relief of Walker and was greeted by a Hayden Roland one-out double and a Hudson single. Roland and Hudson both came in to score on Harris’s second hit of the afternoon.
But with two out in the home half of the sixth, the Lady Comets came roaring back. Helton was struck by a pitch and moved to second on a sacrifice. Helton scored thanks to Abby Husong’s double. Kayla Duncan sacrificed Husong to third and Miami pitched around Summer Higgins to get to Fielden. The lithe Kansas freshman then lashed a frozen rope in the left centerfield gap to knot the affair at five each. Hilary Cochran then put her team on top when her single plated Fielden.
Leading 6-5, the Lady Comets needed to hold the Miami offense scoreless for just another inning. But one walk, one hit and four infield errors opened the door for the Lady War Dogs to put four more on the scoreboard. Kansas went down without a whimper in their last at bats, sending Miami home with the huge road victory.