For two games at least, Jordan Weber has owned Lee’s Summit North’s hard-hitting lineup.
Weber, the junior ace for Lee’s Summit West, held North to four hits in last Thursday’s 3-0 victory in the championship game of the Greater Kansas City Invitational. In a rematch on Monday, she was even more overpowering, tossing a no-hitter in the Titans’ 4-0 victory in the Suburban Gold Conference opener for both teams at North.
It was the second no-hitter in Weber’s high-school career, her first coming against Washington in last year’s Class 4 state tournament consolation game. She walked four and struck out eight and was never in any trouble except for one inning.
“I hate to say it’s what you come to expect, but every night you’re going to get a quality outing out of that kid,” said West softball coach Eric Doane. “She’s maturing, got control, you just hand her the ball and let her go.”
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Weber said she took the circle feeling like she had her best stuff, and she proved it with a rise ball and a changeup that she described as “on point.” They were good enough to strike out 12 with two walks last week and then hold the same Bronco lineup in check in the rematch. North had averaged 11.25 runs over its first four games before facing the Titans.
“Once you get to play the same team you get to know their weaknesses, too,” Weber said. “You can kind of use that to your advantage.”
Weber took control early, striking out two of the first three batters she faced and retiring 10 straight until giving up back-to-back walks in the fourth inning to Kinsey Fiedler and Olivia Krehbiel. Fiedler was erased by a bullet from catcher Maddie Harris to shortstop Carson Staponski trying to steal second before Krehbiel walked, and Weber fanned Izzie Madrano for the final out.
“She pitched well, and they played good defense,” North softball coach John Gage said. “It wasn’t that we played horrible, it’s just that we were facing one of the toughest pitchers in the city twice in a row.”
North starter Marissa Davis, who struck out nine while giving up four runs and seven hits, held West to two hits through the first four innings. The Titans got their first two runs in the fifth when Staponski shot a single down the third-base line, reached second on a throwing error and scored on a double to the gap by Addison Besermin.
“I preach to them at-bat No. 2 has got to be better than at-bat No. 1, and your third at-bat’s got to be better than at-bat No. 2,” Doane said. “You’ve got to keep making adjustments throughout the game. That’s one thing we’re stressing and actually accomplishing.”
West added two more runs with two outs in the seventh. Harris was hit by a pitch, McKenzie McAtee beat a short throw from second for an infield single and Emily Nine drove them both home with a double. Weber gave up leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh before striking out two of the last three she faced to finish off her no-no.
“We know North has a potent lineup,” Doane said. “They’ll figure it out. It’s a combination of it being early for them and the fact that Jordan is settling into her own and really taking control of games.”
Gage realizes this too. And he also realizes that even with their hitters, there are still going to be many conference games like this for the Broncos.
“You’re going to face a good team every single game,” Gage said. “And we’re one of those good teams. It’s just that today she had the upper hand.”
Tigers take third
Lee’s Summit beats Grain Valley 14-0 in five innings Thursday for third place in the Greater Kansas City Invitational at Adair Park. Hayley Kurley held Grain Valley to one hit and a walk over five innings. Ashlyn Cook went three for four with three RBIs and Julie Sexton drove in two runs and scored three to lead the Tigers.
Lee’s Summit followed that victory with a 5-4 win Monday at Blue Springs South. Cook and Brielle Beavers had three hits each for the Tigers, who led 4-1 before holding off a late Blue Springs South rally.