Leavenworth High’s baseball team came into Tuesday’s game against a young Lawrence squad, filled with momentum and confidence.
Consider both a little bruised after a surprise, 4-1 home defeat the Sports Field, as the Pioneers’ (6-1, 3-1) were undone by a few uncharacteristic errors and bats that didn’t squeeze off any game changing hits in the team’s first loss.
Starting pitcher Collin Jones threw well from the bump, but it wasn’t enough to hold off an inspired Lawrence team that was even aided by a late, inside-the-park homer.
“Collin pitched great and they scored their first two runs on bat, bunt defense and that falls on my shoulders so we will practice that more,” LVHS head coach Joe Allison said. “We had a couple of opportunities to push some runs across and we didn’t do it. We could have gotten to them earlier. With all that it’s still a 1-run game late in the game and from that point I have to tip my hat to their pitcher and their defense. They made some great plays and didn’t make the mistakes that we did. We didn’t make many, but we made three or four which is just enough (to lose).
“No righteous or good coach is going to tell you a loss is good, but dealing with adversity is a must, especially with high school kids. We saw adversity today and a couple of times we handled it and a couple of times we didn’t. It’s good to have adversity, but it’s not OK to lose.”
The late round-tripper for Lawrence came when Pioneer outfielder Steele Sadler went to play a deep hit and went with a knee slide to play the ball and his foot went underneath the right field fence and got stuck with his shoelace on the fence.
LVHS softball fall in two games
For the first time this season, the Leavenworth softball team couldn’t quite find that extra gear to make things interesting.
Tuesday at the Sports Field, the Pioneers fell to 0-6 on the season with a resounding 16-0, three-inning loss to the defending champions, Olathe South.
LVHS head coach Callie Farrell is seeing a lot of positives despite this tough outing.
“We are still on the positive grind and we have got base runners, putting the ball into action…I’ve got girls getting hits and we are moving,” Farrell said. “We are doing all the positives and being more aggressive than we were last year.
“When you play the defending state champions, you keep the positive. As long as you do the right things and stay aggressive, the outcomes might (eventually) change.”
The players are still finding purpose as they slog through this brutal, opening stretch of games.
“Our mindset is that we are trying to be better than last year and competes,” senior first baseman Ashton Roth said. “Honestly, I feel we have done a lot better and as a team we are bonding more and we are staying in games we probably weren’t in last year. Olathe South is good.
“This is a big step up. We went seven innings with Lawrence and Free State and we have been staying with teams that run-ruled us last year. This game was the first one where we played a team that goes to state every year. I feel like our next game Thursday will be just another step for us to get better. They make us better and make us play to their speed. By the Sunflower Festival (April 21-22) we are hunting to go beat everybody in there.’
The Pioneers dropped a 10-4 home decision Monday against Lawrence in a makeup game due to rains earlier this month.
McKenzie Brown hit a solo home run and Ashton Roth went 2-for-3 at the plate.
“We played well and definitely improved over the last two games,” Leavenworth head coach Callie Farrell said. “Our bats are starting to connect so things look positive.”
Pioneers girls drop 4-0 soccer home decision
A strong first half performance led to a slight hiccup early on after halftime, before a strong last half hour of play added up to a 4-0 Leavenworth High girls’ soccer home defeat to Olathe South at Pioneer Stadium Tuesday.
Leavenworth (2-5, 1-2) trailed South, 1-0 at the break, before the Falcons tallied three relatively easy scores in the first 10 minutes of the second half to secure the final margin of victory.
Liz LaDuron shone in goal for LVHS as the keeper recorded 15 saves under plenty of duress as the ball stayed in the Pioneers’ half of the field for most of the night, although the young squad did look for some scoring opportunities.
However, head coach Derek Wilson says that his team needs to learn to keep grinding forward and not get to lost in the clouds with early successes.
“We were a little too happy with ourselves come at halftime,” Wilson said. “We come out and let them score three goals, back-to-back-to-back and that kind of did us in. Then we kind of settled down and got into it. We just have to learn to attack with numbers when we try to attack with one, two, three players. I keep trying to express how important it is to possess the ball and build the attack. At the same time, we had some several good moments there, but we never threatened with them.
“Olathe South came out on fire in the second half and were not happy with a 1-0 lead. I give them credit for how they came out after halftime. We need to learn to match that intensity. When they started launching shots from 30, 35-feet out consistently, I turned to my bench and said, ‘That’s a compliment.’ They were getting frustrated because they can’t break through. Teams are taken back and realize they better play or they will get shocked here.”
Freshman Kaylee Shaw believes the Pioneers need to learn to bounce back stronger after giving up key goals.
“We still tried, but I think we could have tried a little harder,” Shaw said. “People tell us we are going to lose to the Olathe teams…we come out wanting to win every single time…we did a lot better than last year. We got mercy-ruled last year, so we are really improving. We basically tell each other that we are better than this and let’s prove that to everyone.”
Lions’ girls’ soccer takes two
The Lansing girls’ soccer team (4-1) cruised to an easy 4-0 win Tuesday night against Kaw Valley League rivals, Bonner Springs.
Syndi Bolewski led the host Lions with three goals while Marie Caraccilo added one.
Monday night, the Lions won an easy 10-0 KVL matchup against Bishop Ward.
Georgia Watkins scored three goals, Sydni Bolewski tallied two more (she now has 11 so far this season), while Alyssa Foley, Jenna McClain, Faith Loewenstein, Kennedy Farris and Caraccilo all added one apiece.
Lansing swim team take 3rd
The Lansing High girls’ swimming team finished in third place at the Timberwolves Invitational Saturday at Blue Valley Southwest High School.
Lansing scored 214 points, to just be outdistanced by St. Thomas Aquinas (253) and the hosts (231).
“This is the highest we ever placed at this meet,” Lansing High head coach David Bresser said. “Despite having only about half the team due to other regional commitments, we swam really well as a team. We had more automatic state times and more consideration times. We now have at least one automatic qualifying time in every event.”
Summer Dietz won the 200 IM while Trinity Hall (100 backstroke), Maddie Walker (200 freestyle) and Meredith McKnight (500 freestyle) all finished second in their respective races.
Dietz (100 freestyle) and Katrin Holden (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) earned state consideration times while Liz Paxton showed improvement with personal bests in the 200 and 500 freestyle races.
“It was great to see so many girls win medals or go a lifetime best time at this meet,” Bresser said. “We swam really well against some very tough competition. After this week, we turn our focus to our friendly rival Leavenworth who we will see in our next two meets.”
Lansing tennis improves play
Monday was a day full of makeup dates for earlier postponements due to rains over the previous weeks and the Lansing boys’ tennis team enjoyed getting back on the court.
“It was nice to see someone other than a teammate across the net from us,” Lansing head coach Eddie Fenton said.
The Lions played host at the Leavenworth Country Club and finished a combined 8-4 on the day, as No. 2 singles player Sean Cranford went 3-0 while No. 1 Clint Saunders finished 2-1 along with the No. 2 doubles team of Jacob Lorenzen/Aaron Mackey.
“Both Clint and Sean really showed a lot of patience tonight during their matches,” Fenton said. “One of the problems we had (earlier in the season) was trying to end points too soon which resulted in too many unforced errors leading to some losses that we weren’t expecting. Tonight, we were able to play long points and let the opponents try to force shots.”
LHS softball records sweep
The Lansing High softball team played its first two games of the season Monday, sweeping Bonner Springs 21-12 and 14-6.
Bradi Basler and Haley Masisak recorded complete-game victories from the circle for the Lions.
Rams’ softball takes two
The Rams of Pleasant Ridge recorded a 12-9, 17-6 sweep of Mount Academy on Monday.
Sierra Robinson earned the win in game one, with Madison Ewert earning the save. Lindsey Heim went 3-for-4 with a triple and Robinson was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Madi Grafke was the winning pitcher in the nightcap. Heim went 3-for-4 with seven RBI in the contest while Caitlyn Herbig was 2-for-3 with four RBI.
“The girls were a little lazy the first game but locked in in the second,” Rams’ head coach Chris Robinson said. “We hit the ball a lot better these two games and that is big for us. Hopefully that will get the bats going for the future.”
Tough day for Rams’ baseball
Pleasant Ridge baseball took two on the chin Monday, dropping both games to Maur Hill-Mount Academy, 8-0 and 18-2.
“Nothing went well. Back to the drawing board starting tomorrow,” Pleasant Ridge head coach Scott Henning said. “We are going to look at everything and everyone. We finally get back to practicing outside. Boys are excited about that as am I. A few little things looked good but not near enough. Not much else to say about us right now.”
Lansing’s Moorehead sets strong pace
Playing host to their own tournament at the Leavenworth Great Life Golf and Fitness Golf Course and on a sunny, but windy, afternoon, only one of 42 players shot under 80.
Topeka Hayden’s Mac Piles won the tournament with a 76 while only seven others managed a score in the 80s.
Lansing’s Mitchell Moorehead’s led the Lion effort with a score of 90 for ninth-place overall. “Mitchell has been playing nine or 10 shots better than that this season,” Lansing head coach Bill Pekarek said. “But, he failed to make some putts that he really should’ve made and that balloon his score.”
Results of Tuesday’s appearance at Mill Valley were not available at press time.
LVHS golf coach proud of work
The Leavenworth High’s boys’ golf team went to the Shawnee Mission East Tournament at the Kansas City Country Club and improved on last week’s team score and saw a number of individuals perform well, according to head coach Jon LeBar.
Stephen Lewellan led the team with a 101 while Jonathon Sculley came in with a 104,
Andrew Meinert (107), Preston Cain (108) and Justis Simon (108) also recorded official scores.
“The course was in great shape and the greens were probably running an 11 on the Stimpmeter which is usually what the pros play on,” LeBar said. “I'm proud how the guys continue to work on their game and our scores keep improving. We'll see how they do on Thursday for our home tournament at Trails West Golf Course.”