5A softball: Carroll wins another crown
- 5A softball: Carroll, Eisenhower advance
- 6A softball: Maize falls in semifinals
- 3A softball: Hillsboro wins title in wacky 13th
- 2-1A softball: Udall’s perfection ends in final
- 3A softball: Hillsboro, Chaparral to clash
- 4A softball: Eck powers Andale-Garden Plain victory
- 4A softball: Andale-Garden Plain sends Hein out as three-time champ
- Saturdays state championship scoreboard
- Gallery: State Softball Championship Day 2
- Gallery: State Softball Championship Day 1
With the bottom of the order coming up in the fifth inning of a scoreless state softball championship game, Bishop Carroll coach Angie Dal Pozzo had a short visit with her players.
“I told the girls to jump on the first good pitch they saw,” Dal Pozzo said.
The Eagles took it to heart, getting an RBI single from Morgan Balderas and two-run homer from nine-hole hitter Shelby Craig that led to a 4-1 victory over St. Thomas Aquinas at Two Rivers Youth Club.
It gave Carroll (23-2) its second straight Class 5A championships and 10th title overall.
“That’s huge to have the bottom of the lineup be able to step up like they did today,” Dal Pozzo said. “I love our lineup because anybody can make something happen.”
Carroll’s three-run fifth inning broke open a tight game hours after the Eagles had run-ruled Topeka Seaman 10-0 in the semifinals.
Balderas, a sophomore, drove in Mary Jo Peter for the first run. She scored on Craig’s homer to center field.
The three runs were more than enough for Carroll pitchers Jessica Haffner and Katelynn Smith.
Haffner, the starter, limiting Aquinas’ potent offense to four hits over five innings while striking out four. Smith earned the save by recording the final six outs, surrendering one run on two hits over two innings.
Dal Pozzo said that she was proud of the way her team competed throughout the game.
“It feels great to end the season on top,” she said. “The girls worked so hard all year to get to this point, and that work paid off today. It’s just amazing.”
Aquinas cut the Carroll lead to 3-1 with a solo homer by freshman Casey Campbell in the sixth inning, but Carroll answered in the seventh with an unearned run.
Aquinas loaded the bases in the seventh with one out, but Smith got Aquinas’ Samantha Colgan to fly out and Paige Mason to pop out to end the game.
“We had a lot of fight in us,” Aquinas coach Christine Orel said. “The girls wanted it really badly, and I was proud of the way we fought back, but it just didn’t turn out in our favor. You have to give Carroll credit; they came out and took it from us.”
Aquinas reached the championship game by defeating Goddard Eisenhower 7-0 in the semifinals. Sophomore pitcher Brooklin Hinz struck out 10 Tigers.
Topeka Seaman 5, Eisenhower 4 — Eisenhower’s two homers were not enough to win the third-place game.
Eisenhower catcher Kelsey Harris tied the game in the fourth inning with a two-run homer that cleared the scoreboard in left field.
Seaman answered in the fifth with a solo homer by sophomore Kylie Dillon. Seaman’s Mackenzie O’Brien added an RBI single to give the Vikings a 4-2 lead through five innings.
Seaman added another run in the top of the sixth, but an RBI single by Lyndsey Wiechman cut the Seaman lead to 5-3 through six innings.
Eisenhower’s Madison Demel hit a solo homer with one out in the seventh to cut their deficit to 5-4, but the Tigers failed to score the tying run.
“I was proud of their effort,” Eisenhower coach Charlie Nally said. “What they have done as a first-year team at a first-year school is amazing. I could not have asked for a better group of girls, and we will use this as motivation for next year.”
Carroll 4, Aquinas 1
|Carroll||000||030||1||—||4 7 0|
|Aquinas||000||001||0||—||1 6 2|
W — Haffner. L — Hinz. S—Smith. HR — Carroll, Craig; Aquinas, Campbell.
Seaman 5, Eisenhower 4
|T. Seaman||200||021||0||—||5 9 1|
|Eisenhower||000||201||1||—||4 10 0|
W — Heiniger. L — Valentine. HR — Seaman, Dillon; Eisenhower, Harris, Demel.
Carroll 10, Seaman 0
|T. Seaman||000||00||—||0 4 3|
|Carroll||333||01||—||10 14 0|
W — Smith. L — Heiniger. HR — Carroll, Hogan 2.
Aquinas 7, Eisenhower 0
|Eisenhower||000||000||0||—||0 4 1|
|Aquinas||400||111||x||—||7 1 0|
W – Hinz. L – Valentine.