The Wellington Lady-Crusaders softball team entered their season-opener as the underdog, and deservedly so, against a Mulvane squad coming off of a State Tournament appearance a season ago. But by the end of the night, WHS was playing like the team to beat as they swept the Lady-Wildcats to start the season 2-0.
Wellington won the first game of the double-header in dramatic fashion, in the last inning. Peyton Adams, sophomore, had the game-winning RBI to complete the comeback, after WHS was down 6-3 heading into the seventh. The Lady-Crusaders won 7-6.
To start the next game, Wellington retired the side after a couple of walks, then their bats went to work. In the bottom on the first, Ryleigh Buck, freshmen hit a two-run homerun to give WHS the lead, Buck went 3/4 in the game, with five RBI, and a triple. Wellington would hold on to that two point margin throughout the game, in spite of late pushes by the Lady-Wildcats.
Another key moment in the second game occurred in the top of the sixth. The score was 7-5 WHS; Shanlyn Hefley, senior, was in the circle, after relieving Kailey Jenkins, senior, in the fourth. Mulvane's lead-off hitter grounded out, this was followed by a base hit on a WHS error. The third batter, and potential game-tying run, smacks the ball right back to Hefley, who turns the one-three double-play. Jenkins gets the win, Hefley is credited with the save, she was the winning pitcher of the first game on Thursday.
A controversial call at fist for Wellington's second out in the bottom of the sixth might have generated a spark of momentum for Mulvane, but that was not the case.
"It's a great way to start the season, Mulvane has a nice program," said first year Head Coach, T.D. Buck. As a team, WHS batted .429 in the first game, and .385 in the second, for a very solid combined average of .407.
Other notable offensive performances in game one came from Hefley who went 3/4, with three runs and an RBI, Jenkins hit 3/4 as well, with a double and two RBI. In game two, Makenna Oathout, freshmen went 2/4 at the plate, with a double, and she scored two runs.
There weren't a lot of official errors for the Lady-Crusaders in either game, but there were a few errant throws between the infielders.
"It's stuff we have to work on," Buck said. "It's the little mistakes that you do in ball game number one, it doesn't matter what sport you're playing. Between outing number one and outing number two is your biggest improvement because it's hard to practice a lot of situations." The Lady-Crusaders had their up's and down's, in the second game, the up's seemed to come every other inning.
"We've got to work on that and adjust on that," Buck said. "…We're trying to get the mentality of 'hey, we're going to keep fighting…' and it paid off." The next contest is a double-header at Worden Park in Wellington on April 4, against Augusta.
Page 2 of 2 - March 28
Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
MHS – 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 6 9 4
WHS – 1 0 0 1 1 0 4 7 12 0
Game 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
MHS – 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 5 7 0
WHS – 2 3 0 2 0 0 X 7 10 1