As much as the Olathe East High School softball team wanted to finish the season undefeated with its third consecutive Kansas Class 6A state championship, coach Jeff Hulse says the Hawks cannot define their success from that one game.
His group of eight seniors, which includes six future college athletes, finished their careers at Olathe East with a 95-5 record and four top four finishes at the state tournament. The Hawks had a 24-1 record this season.
“It was a great season, we just came up one game short of being able to really compete for that title,” Hulse said. “We’re not going to measure our season by one inning. We tip our hats because (Topeka) Washburn Rural played very well, and defensively, we just didn’t do very well.”
Olathe East’s 46-game win streak was broken by the same team it defeaed for the 2013 title. The Hawks gave up six hits and committed four errors in an eight-run first inning and eventually lost 9-2 at Blue Valley West. It was the first time all season they had given up more than five runs in a game.
Two-time All-Metro and Kansas Gatorade player of the year Allison Stewart was charged with eight runs – two earned – in one inning-plus.
Before the title game, Olathe East had defeated Derby and Sunflower League opponent Olathe South, which went on to take third.
The Falcons, 20-5, defeated Olathe Northwest 11-2 with the help of a four-run second inning. Olathe Northwest, 19-6, committed six errors in the loss.
Class 5A quarterfinals
Blue Valley Southwest upset previously undefeated St. Thomas Aquinas to advance to the Class 5A softball state tournament, but could not continue the trend. BV Southwest lost to top-seeded and undefeated Topeka Seaman 4-1 in the quarterfinals. The Timberwolves finished the season 14-9.
Mill Valley entered the 5A state tournament as the No. 5 seed and fell to fourth-seeded Maize South 6-1 in the quarterfinals. The Jaguars finished 18-5.
De Soto lost to Augusta in the Class 4A quarterfinals and ended its season 9-14.