David Reeder

Special to the Grove Sun

JAY- Under a blistering August sun, fast pitch softball season got into full swing at Lady Bulldog Softball Complex, Tuesday afternoon. And by day’s end, the Kansas Lady Comets were off to a 2-0 start for the young season.

In the opening contest the host Lady Bulldogs took on Wyandotte with Caitlyn Allen taking the hill for the home team. Allen pitched around a two-out walk to hold the Lady Bears scoreless in the top of the first.

In the bottom of the frame, Wyandotte starter, Kourtney Leppla got the Lady Dogs to go down in order.

In the top of the next inning Allen got the leadoff batter to go down on strikes. But a pitch struck the subsequent batter. The visitors then proceeded to crack four consecutive hits that plated the season’s first four runs. Lady Bear junior Alex Lyons got the inning’s big hit with a bases loaded two-run single. Wyandotte picked up another run in the top of the third when, with the sacks jammed, Brooke Romine picked up an RBI the hard way when she was hit by an Allen pitch.

After a scoreless bottom of the third and top of the fourth, the Lady Bear defense committed back-to-back two-out errors.

And with a pair of runners on board, Jay’s Megan Ritter stroked an RBI single for the Lady Bulldog’s first run of the year. Wyandotte plated three more in the top of the fifth, thanks to an error, another hit batsman and a walk, to take an 8-2 lead into the home half of the fifth.

Jay’s Andrea Leroy brought her team within four when she cracked a two-out, two-RBI single. But for the remainder of the game both squads would score two more runs each for a 10-6 Wyandotte win.

In the subsequent contest Wyandotte took on the Lady Comets and the Kansas girls wasted no time getting on the scoreboard when Hillary Cochran reached base and scored on Barbara Helton’s

RBI extra base hit. Kristin Walker got the starting nod for the Lady Comets and pitched her way around a pair of base runners to escape the bottom of the first unscathed.

Following a scoreless top half of the second Shenel Wolfe lead off with a walk and came around to score on an extra base hit by Summer Higgins.

The two squads locked into a defensive dual for the next 2-˝ innings, that saw both of them threaten and both of them fail to score.

But in the home half of the sixth inning, the Lady Comets managed to bat around their order with Higgins, Walker, Cochran and Helton all touching home plate in the process. Leading by a half dozen, Walker managed to get stronger and her defense a got a little tighter behind her for the duration of the contest. Kansas’s Higgins and Cochran scored their second run of the game in the bottom of the sixth as Walker shut down Wyandotte for the shutout victory.

In the final bout of the day’s card, the Lady Bulldogs took on their neighbors from the South. And early on it looked as if the Lady Comets were going to take control of this game early when they were spotted solo runs in the second and third innings.

But in the bottom of the third, the first three Lady Bulldogs reached base and came in to score to take over the lead by a 3-2 margin.

 On the heels of a scoreless fourth and top of the firth, Jay plated three more extending their lead to a 6-2 margin.

But the visitors were far from finished as they came roaring back with a half dozen runs in the sixth to take an 8-6 lead.

The Lady Bulldogs, however; came back with a run in the bottom of the sixth and the seventh to knot things up at 8 each, sending things into extra innings.

With the score tied, the umpires put the international tie breaking procedure in to place by putting a runner on second base and commencing with the extra inning. And the Comets answered by batting around and scoring seven more times.

The Jay girls were able to push across their runner that had been pre-placed on second base in their half of the extra frame. But the Kansas pitcher, Paige Fielden was able to hold her opponents to just that lone tally as the Lady Comets moved to a 2-0 record with the 15-9 final score.

For a while on Thursday evening, it appeared the Lady Bulldogs would get that elusive first win of the season.

Jay took advantage of two Miami errors and two walks to score seven runs in the top of the first inning against the host Lady Wardogs.

A lined single over shortstop by leftfielder Caitlyn Allen followed by a two-run double into the right centerfield gap by Megan Ritter capped the scoring for Jay.

Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, that would be all the runs they would get and Miami would come roaring back with a big inning of their own.

After chipping away with a couple of runs in the second inning, the Lady Wardogs took advantage of seven Jay walks along with two errors to score 14 runs in the fourth inning on just five hits to take a 16-7 lead.

Jay would not recover, going down quickly in the top of the fifth, ending the game by run rule.