Bobcats suffer tough-luck loss to undefeated Bishop Carroll in 5A softball title game

Jason Brown
The Leavenworth Times
Shown is the Basehor-Linwood softball team following its runner-up finish in the Class 5A tournament. The Bobcats fell to undefeated Bishop Carroll 4-3 Friday at Wilkins Stadium in Wichita to cap a 21-4 season.

WICHITA – Basehor-Linwood softball suffered a heartbreaking loss Friday in the Class 5A state championship game to Bishop Carroll at Wilkins Stadium in Wichita as the Bobcats’ seventh-inning rally was halted by a final out that was caused when an in-play ball struck Britney Hoffman’s foot as she ran to second base. 

The Bobcats fell by a score of 4-3 and finished the season 21-4 as the 5A runner-up despite outhitting the Golden Eagles 7-2 but couldn’t overcome a difficult third inning where Carroll did all of its damage. 

Audrey Spellman reached base in the first inning on a bunt attempt that was eventually ruled an error but the Bobcats failed to move her any further than second base. 

Sophomore pitcher Taylor Cruse moved through the first two innings without allowing a hit but ran into trouble in the third as the Golden Eagle’s offense got going. 

After securing the first out, Cruse surrendered a walk and the Bobcat defense committed a couple of errors resulting in the first run of the contest. The Eagles kept going, notching their first two hits of the game and working another walk to take a 4-0 lead. 

Basehor’s initial response fell flat as the first two batters struck out in the fourth inning. Hoffman got the Bobcat’s first hit in the fourth inning with a single to right field. Kaleigh Small drew a walk in the following at-bat and Mila Seaton singled to load the bases. Grace Rose drove in the first runs as the Bobcats as she plated two with a double. The Bobcats inched closer with a third run in the fifth inning as Sam Price doubled in Audrey Spellman. 

Basehor was in prime position to tie the game and potentially take the lead in the sixth inning with Seaton on third and Rose on second with one out but couldn’t capitalize. 

Carroll’s offense struggled outside of its third-inning outburst, leaving the door open for a Basehor rally in the seventh inning. Bella Rollo walked with one out to represent the tying run but was out on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Price. Hoffman hit a line drive up the middle and reached on an error while Taylor Pratt – who entered to run for Price – went to third. The Bobcats’ hopes of a comeback were thwarted when Small made contact, only to have the ball strike Hoffman while in play, resulting in the final out of the game.

Seaton and Rose both notched multi-hit games for the Bobcats. Cruse allowed just two hits in six innings in the circle but issued four walks.