Bobcats walk-off Valley Center in state quarterfinals

Jason Brown
The Leavenworth Times

Basehor-Linwood softball will play in the Class 5A state semifinals Friday after a wild 5-4 win against Valley Center Thursday in at Wilkins Stadium in Wichita. 

The Bobcats entered the bottom of the seventh inning tied 4-4 with the Hornets before sophomore Taylor Cruse hit a walk-off home run to right field. 

The Hornets got three runs in the first inning to open the scoring, taking an advantage of an error and scoring two runs before scoring another on a double in the same at-bat. 

Basehor chipped into the deficit in the bottom of the first inning with a couple of runs. Audrey Spellman drew a one-out walk, then scored on a triple from Bella Rollo, who then scored on a sacrifice bunt from Sam Price.

Cruse was on the mound for Basehor and recovered from the three-run first inning in the following frame facing three batters.

Jessica Lutgen knotted the game up at 3-3 with an RBI double that scored Kaleigh Small in the second inning.

Cruse remained sharp in the third inning and the Bobcats took advantage in the fourth as Rollo took a 2-1 pitch deep to left field, giving Basehor a 4-3 lead. The Hornets rallied in the fifth inning with back-to-back two-out walks, followed by an RBI single to tie the game back up at 4-4. 

The game went into a weather delay due to rain showers that lasted around 30 minutes, but once play resumed, neither team could get a spark until Cruse’s walk-off shot. 

The Bobcats are slated to face Goddard in the semifinals Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.