Pioneer softball edges Shawnee Mission South on Senior Day

Pioneer report
Shown is Leavenworth softball senior third baseman Mikayla Garrison with head coach Kacy Tillery.

The Leavenworth softball team broke open a close contest with four runs in the home half of the fifth inning to edge past Shawnee Mission South 4-1 Monday at Pioneer Softball Field.

Prior to the contest, the program honored its two senior members – third baseman Mikayla Garrison and manager Tabitha Dey – by presenting them with a team gift.

The game was a pitcher’s duel for most of the afternoon, as Pioneer Landri Lopez and Raider Kate Colwell held the opposition scoreless until the fourth inning when SMS took advantage of a lapse in defense to break the scoreless tie. Raider sophomore Mary Donovan led off the frame on a pop-fly single to centerfield, aided by a miscommunication between Pioneer outfielders, advancing to second base on the throw. Donovan would score two batters later on a fielding miscue for the first run of the day.

The game would remain 1-0 until the Pioneers (9-6) broke into the scoring column in the bottom of the fifth inning. Freshman Hailey Garcia would start the rally, opening the frame with a ground ball single to left. With one out, Garrison and junior Kaylee McLain would both draw walks, loading the bases. Lopez would then battle through an 11 pitch at-bat to draw an RBI walk of her own, tying the score when Garcia touched home.

Junior Jewel Lake would then give the Pioneers their first lead of the afternoon via an RBI base on balls, plating Garrison. One batter later, freshman Jada Eagle would lift a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing McLain to tag and race home from third base. Freshman Paradise Wright would then cap the inning by lining a single to centerfield, scoring Lopez. From there, pitching was again the story, as neither team was able to muster a baserunner for the final two frames, sealing the Pioneer win.

Lopez (7-3) earned the victory in the circle for Leavenworth, tossing a complete seven innings, striking out eight batters, while limiting the Raiders to only four hits. Colwell took the loss for SMS, surrendering four runs on only two hits and six walks, with seven strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of work.

Leading the Pioneers at the plate were Garrison (1-for-2, BB, run), Wright (1-for-3, RBI), Garcia (1-for-3, run), McLain (2 BB, run), Lake (BB, RBI), Eagle (RBI), and Lopez (1-for-2, BB, run, RBI).

Leavenworth will next host the De Soto Wildcats for a doubleheader on Tuesday. The first pitch is set at 3:30 p.m.