The Leavenworth High School softball team played error-free ball for the first time in a game this season but ran into a talented right-hander who shut down their bats in a Sunflower League game Thursday night at Sportsfield Park.
Shawnee Mission Northwest hurler Jennaka Bultman scattered four hits and did not walk any batters, leading the Cougars to a 7-1 victory over the Pioneers.
Bultman allowed the Pioneers a first-inning run, then shut them down the rest of the way. She struck out eight in a game that lasted just one hour and 16 minutes.
“I was impressed but not satisfied,” Leavenworth coach Callie Farrell said. “We have to score more than one run. We have to have more run support for pitchers who are doing well on the mound.”
Leavenworth junior right-hander Abby Kowalewski pitched effectively for the Pioneers for most of the game, but surrendered five runs in the top of the sixth inning that blew the game open.
“We had a little hiccup in the sixth,” Farrell said. “But (Kowalewski) had a stellar game. We just have to get the offense to follow suit.”
Leavenworth centerfielder Leah Seichepine recorded nine putouts in the game, including all three outs in the third inning.
The Cougars broke on top 1-0 in the first on a RBI single by Mackenzie Cooper.
The Pioneers tied the game in the bottom half. Jessica Sachen reached on an error and scored on a double by Alyssa Seichepine.
The Cougars went up 6-1 in the sixth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate.
Megan Formwalt and Lauren Wolfe delivered back-to-back RBI singles to get the rally going. Emily Wells added a run-scoring groundout before Bultman came through with a two-run single.
The Cougars added another run in the seventh when Formwalt doubled and scored on a single by Wolfe.
Bultman and Wolfe had three hits each for the Cougars, who finished with 12 hits.
The Pioneers will travel to play three games Saturday in the Turner Tournament.