SALINA, Kan. — Bases loaded, no outs, bottom of the seventh inning in the Class 4A softball state championship game with the winning run at the plate.
By TONY ADAME
The Wichita Eagle
There was no place Augusta or De Soto wouldve rather been on Friday afternoon the Orioles because of their propensity to rally with big hits to win games, the Wildcats because of their star pitcher, Kansas signee Sophia Templin.
Templin battled back from near-disaster, striking out the next two batters Katy Nordman and Casady Marlnee and getting Abby Tipton to fly out for the final out of the game in order, giving De Soto a 7-4 win and its first softball state title since 1998.
Templin pitched every inning of every game for the Wildcats this season her 19-3 record matching that of her team. She struck out 10 and gave up 8 hits in the championship game.
De Soto lost to Andale/Garden Plain in last years championship game. Augusta finished the season 23-1, with Brooke Eberhardt taking the loss.
De Soto took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a solo home run from Lauren Mabe off of Eberhardt, and 3-0 in the second inning when Sarah Salvini hit a two-run home run off Eberhardt.
Mabes RBI double in the third inning scored Hunter Klamm for a 4-0 lead, but Augusta got one run back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Marlnee that scored Nordman.
Augusta is a great team, but that type of power hitting doesnt surprise me, De Soto coach Junelle Woolery said. (We) worked extremely hard in the offseason, not just in the cages but in the weight room.
Klamms solo home run in the top of the fifth off Megan Hayes put De Soto up 5-1, but the Orioles answered back in the bottom of the inning with a three-run home run by senior Kalie Robinson that made the score 5-4.
A two-RBI single by Ashley Mars gave De Soto a 7-4 lead in the seventh. Templin regained her composure after giving up a single and two walks to load the bases in the bottom of the inning.
I just started praying, breathing, trying not to think about how bad my arm hurt, Templin said. Our drive this whole season has been the feeling we had after we lost in the championship game last year. First goal was to make it to state, second goal was to win state.
Pratt had 13 hits in a 5-3 win over Paola in the third-place game.
Mill Valley places second
Mill Valley successfully navigated its way into the Class 5A softball championship game at Two Rivers Youth Complex in Wichita.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, thats been a perilous place for opponents of Bishop Carroll.
Mill Valleys bid for its first state title fell short, as Carroll junior Jessi Haffner pitched a two-hitter in the Eagles 5-0 victory. Carroll, 23-2, claimed its third consecutive 5A title and 11th overall.
That was the best team weve faced all year, Mill Valley senior shortstop Kelli Spring said. We just couldnt get the bats going.
Haffner, who pitched Carroll past Blue Valley and St. Thomas Aquinas the previous two seasons in 5A championship games, struck out eight against Mill Valley. She took a no-hitter into the sixth before Mill Valleys Alexa Schriner looped a check-swing single over the third baseman. Sophomore Lexie Myers singled in the seventh for Mill Valleys other hit.
| Scott Paske, Special to The Star