Leavenworth softball picks up pair of wins over Turner

Pioneer report

KANSAS CITY, Kansas – The Leavenworth Pioneers softball team extended its win streak to four games by taking both ends of a doubleheader against Turner Tuesday at the Pioneer Softball Field.

Leavenworth (6-6) followed a youth surge in the opener as freshmen Paradise Wright (2-for-4, R, 2 RBIs) and Jada Eagle (2-for-4, 2 runs), as well as sophomore Paci Tate (1-for-3, 3B, run, RBI), spurred the Pioneer offense on the way to a 7-3 victory.

In the first game, junior Kaylee McLain and Eagle reached base on hard-hit balls in the first inning, before Wright drove them home with a ground ball through the left side for an early 2-0 edge.

The Golden Bears evened things in their half of the first before the two teams each took advantage of defensive breakdowns to plate solo runs in the third frame, leaving the game knotted at 3-3 before the Pioneers took the lead for good in the fourth inning. Again it was Wright who reached base on a ground ball single and crossed home plate on a line-drive single to right field from junior Taylor Norberto.

Leavenworth extended its lead in the sixth inning when the team plated three runs. Eagle opened the inning with a single to centerfield and scored on a sacrifice groundout from Norberto. Freshman Hailey Garcia then singled on a line to centerfield before Tate tripled to the gap in right, plating Garcia. Tate then advanced home one pitch later on a passed ball to close the scoring.

Landri Lopez (4-3) was again strong in the circle, tossing seven innings, surrendering only five hits and two earned runs, while notching eight strikeouts in the complete-game effort.

Joining Wright, Eagle and Tate in the offensive column were McLain (2 runs), Lopez (2-for-4), Junior Jewel Lake (RBI), Norberto (1-for-3, 2 RBIs), Garcia (1-for-2, BB, run), and senior Mikayla Garrison (1-for-3, RBI).

Unlike the opener, it was the Pioneer upperclassmen who propelled the offense in the team’s 10-2 victory in the second game, as juniors McLain (3-for-4, 2 2Bs, 3 runs), Lopez (2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBIs) and Lake (3-for-4, 2B, 2 runs, RBI) all slugged out multiple hits. McLain also starred on the rubber, throwing a complete seven innings, giving up only four hits and two runs (both unearned) while tallying six strikeouts in picking up her second win of the season.  

Game two followed a similar scoring track to the first, at least for one inning. McLain opened the game with a ringing double to the gap in left and advanced home on Lopez's copycat RBI version. That’s where the commonalities ended, as the Pioneers struck for two runs in the second and fourth innings before putting the contest out of reach with a four-spot in the sixth frame.

Tate started the rally in the second, doubling then advancing home on Garrison's ground ball. Garrison advanced to third on McLain’s double to right field before both raced home on Lopez’s line-drive single to center.

In the fourth, junior Ingrid Mackey (HBP) and Garrison (BB) scored on RBI singles from Lake and Eagle, respectively. In the sixth, Garrison, McLain, Lake and Wright touched home to cap the win.

In addition to McLain, Lopez, and Lake, leading the Pioneers on offense were Eagle (1-for-3, 2 RBIs), Wright (2-for-4, 2 runs), Tate (1-for-4, 2B, run), Mackey (run), and Garrison (1-for-3, 3 runs).

Leavenworth will next take the field Thursday when they travel to Atchison to face the Redmen. The first pitch is set at 3:30 p.m.