Special to the Grove Sun
KANSAS-What started as a possible rout Tuesday afternoon at Kansas’s Gene Longcrier Field turned into a pretty good game when the visiting Oaks Lady Warriors managed to show a little offense and shore up their defense.
But things came about too little, too late as the Lady Comets had a baker’s dozen on the scoreboard before Oaks scarcely knew what had happened.
In the top of the first Kansas starter Kristin Walker had to work around an error on a hard-hit Francis Milspaugh grounder to set up the pivotal Kansas half of the frame. After walking the first pair of Comet batters, Oaks hurler Stephani Wilson got Hillary Cochran to line out to the third. But cleanup batter Barbara Helton slashed a double that scored both runners in front of her. After Helton moved to third on a wild pitch, the next pair of batters walked to load the bases again. Shenel Wolfe cashed in on the situation when she connected on an RBI double. By the conclusion of the opening inning, the Lady Comets had sent 10 batters to the dish and scored a half dozen times.
Down by six, the Lady Warriors refused to give up as Ally Foreman led off the second with a double. Laurie Osburn picked up a single to put runners on the corners and Hallee Foreman walked to load the bases. A subsequent infield error and a Malaurie Blackfox sacrifice resulted in Oaks putting three runs of their own in the scorebook.
In the bottom of the second Kansas receiver Haley Blackwood worked Wilson for a lead-off walk that was followed by a Cochran single. A dropped third strike by the Lady Warrior catcher loaded the bases again. And this time Amy Rackliff got half of her four RBIs when she laced a double off the outfield fence. Wolfe reached base with a walk to set up Courtney Cowan’s second hit of the game in addition to her second and third RBIs. For the second straight inning the Lady Comets sent 10 batters to the dish and this time scored seven.
Wilson found her range in the third and fourth inning and shut down a pair of Lady Comet scoring threats. Blackfox and Milspaugh opened up the Oaks fourth with back-to-back hits. Both of them came into score on an Ally Foreman hit and another Kansas error.
Trailing 13-5, the Lady Warriors inched closer in the top of the fifth when Bridgett Soap, Chynna Cooper and Blackfox all scored on base hits by Shayla Barnett and Milspaugh. But in the Kansas half of the fifth, Walker reached base with a one-out hit that was followed by Rackliff’s long homerun that sailed up and over the leftfield fence.
Oaks got a two-out RBI off of the bat of Cooper in the sixth for the game’s final run and the 15-9 final.