With two no-hitters going, somebody was going to have to get creative.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
It ended up being Lee’s Summit right fielder Brittany Kendall who scored an unconventional winning run that lifted the Tigers to a 1-0 victory in a hitless game against Truman in the Missouri Class 4 quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon. Lee’s Summit improved to 22-6.
After five scoreless innings, Kendall stepped up to the plate against future Division I pitcher Paige Parker of Truman High School.
“I knew that I got down on her, so I was looking for a rise ball,” Kendall said. “When she threw me an outside pitch, I knew that I had to get it on the ground somewhere between the lines.”
Kendall hit a ground ball toward first base, which was bobbled, allowing her to reach safely. From there, she stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a passed ball.
Lee’s Summit advanced to state for the first time since 2003. They will play Parkway North on Friday.
Lee’s Summit coach Tracy Bertoncin said they had to strategize around Parker, who is headed to Oklahoma after finishing the season with two straight no-hitters.
“These last two days we’ve talked about how we were going to create opportunities. We were going to put the ball into play and force somebody else to play catch besides the pitcher and the catcher,” Bertoncin said. “It’s hard, because those kids love to hit, but when you look at the law of averages against Paige Parker, you have to do something different than what you’ve done in the past in order to beat her.”
Lee’s Summit’s pitcher Emily Robinson was a big factor as well, finishing with seven hitless innings and eight strikeouts.
The Patriots managed to get two runners into scoring position, but each was left stranded. The loss ended the Patriots’ bid for back-to-back championships. They finished the season 28-4.
“It’s tough any time you lose, but when you lose like that it stings,” Truman head coach Amy Temples said.