The Leavenworth Pioneers were in action Monday in baseball and soccer.
The baseball team traveled to Gardner-Edgerton to face the Trailblazers.
The Pioneers would fall 11-0.
“We ran into one of the best offensive teams in the state (Monday),” Pioneers head baseball coach Justin Bode said. “They have Division I talent spread throughout their lineup and are hitting almost .350 as a team this season. They are one of the hottest teams in the state right now and will most likely be a regional host in the western regional this season.”
Bode said the Blazers hit three home runs, three ground rule doubles and four traditional doubles for 10 extra-base hits on the day.
“They can flat out hit the baseball,” he said. “With that said, we still made too many mistakes that extended innings for them and it was in the extended innings that they did the majority of their damage.”
Bode did have praise for his three pitchers saying the score did not reflect on the performance of Jackson Nicodemus, Tyler Kowalewski and Tyler Robinson.
The coach also said the team had good swings at the plate but hit a few balls right at fielders.
“We still got the barrel on the baseball against a decent arm,” Bode said.
Wesley Redelberger, Kruz Wahwahsuck and Robert McKinley were all 1-for-2 on the day.
Leavenworth was set to have a quick turnaround and play Tuesday on senior night before the weather canceled the game. Bode said the forecast in the coming days threatens to keep the game from being rescheduled. The Pioneers will find out their regional opponent Wednesday. Bode said the team will continue to work on fine tuning before the regional game.
“We will continue to work to fine tune things heading into the most important game of the season,” Bode said. “I still believe we can compete with anyone if we execute the way we are capable. We could be a scary team in the regional tournament but that all depends on whether or not we show up to play to the level of which we are capable.”
The Leavenworth Pioneers played their final conference match of the season Monday hosting Shawnee Heights. Leavenworth would defeat the Thunderbirds 1-0 to finish 7-3 and runner-up in the United Kansas Conference.
Pioneers head coach Greg Ruff said the game was a “doozy” and “full of action and suspense” in a recap on www.leavenworthathletics.com
The Pioneers nearly got on the board less than four minutes into the game when a shot by Alexis Roan missed the near post by inches, according to Ruff. Alexis Cole nearly got the Pioneers on the board later in the half before the goalie for Shawnee Heights got the save. Shawnee Heights would attempt a score of their own on a breakaway before Hannah Hawley made a save for the Pioneers to keep the game locked 0-0. The game remained scoreless entering halftime.
After a shot by Sydney Howell was blocked, Cole would push the ball out wide in the box with the ball bouncing off a Shawnee Heights player for an own goal.
The Pioneers would hold on to the 1-0 lead and take the game.
“It was a tough night,” Ruff said in the recap. “Shawnee Heights always comes to play and it is always a great game. We just kept working the tactical ideas we wanted and it paid off for us with our persistence. If we are not aggressive, not finding the width and channels, not crossing, not getting in the box, not pressing to get the goal, we do not get the own goal, it becomes a clearance and we do not get the game winner. I am proud of these girls and their persistence to learn a winner mentality.”
Ruff said the MVP of Monday’s game was Mia Kensinger. Ruff said the freshman had a “great night” as part of the rotation on defense.
The Pioneers are scheduled to wrap up the regular season Wednesday when they host Topeka West at 6 p.m.