When the 2015 Kansas 6A softball state tournament bracket was released, Olathe South coach Michael Allen could not believe his team’s draw.
“Last year, in the semis, we lost to Olathe East, 2-1, and we lost to them on a bloop hit,” Allen said. “And here we are, the No. 1 seed, and what are the odds that East is the eight seed? I think some of (his players) were like, ‘Are you kidding? We have to do this again?’ ”
This year, the Olathe South Falcons emerged victorious in the quarterfinals by the same score, 2-1, after eight innings at Rock Chalk Park on Thursday.
Olathe South, now 21-2 this season, advanced to Friday’s semifinals, where it’ll face Olathe North at 10 a.m.
Olathe East’s Jordan Roberts broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning when she crushed a two-out double to the center-field wall. Kennedy Poro scored from third, and the Hawks went up 1-0.
Olathe South tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when Bailey Kleinschmit scored from second on Alyssa Bates’ two-out single to center field. The Falcons earned the win in the eighth when Samantha Bates scored from third as Olathe East catcher Madison Augustyn dropped a pop-up down the third-base line.
“Survive and advance, and we should never apologize for a win. Those are the two big things,” Allen said. “I’ll also tell you that that’s the most I’ve gotten out of this team all season.
“… That last inning — we’re very fortunate.”
Olathe North 4, Gardner Edgerton 3
Fourth-seeded Olathe North overcame eight errors and staved off a late comeback in beating fifth-seeded Gardner Edgerton, 4-3, in Thursday’s second quarterfinal game of the Kansas 6A softball state tournament.
“The problem is, we don’t have many kids on this team that have been to state,” Olathe North coach Frank Barnes said. “… Eight errors — we haven’t made that many errors all year. We just got out of ourselves a little bit.”
The Eagles, 19-4, went up 2-0 in the second inning. Alyssa Jaso hit a one-out RBI triple. Jaso then scored on a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat.
Gardner Edgerton tied the game with a two-run fifth inning that included four Eagle errors, but Olathe North answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs of their own for a 4-2 lead.
The Trailblazers added another run in the top of the seventh inning but left the bases loaded and did not complete the comeback. They end their season at 17-6.
“Nothing against Gardner Edgerton, by any stretch of the imagination, but this was the worst we’ve played all year,” Barnes said. “… We’ll be back tomorrow and see what happens.”
Olathe Northwest 4, Derby 2
Second-seeded Olathe Northwest became the third Olathe high school to reach the semifinals with its 4-2 win over seventh-seeded Derby.
“Didn’t get the big hits when we needed to, offensively,” Olathe Northwest coach Mark Mahoney said. “But our defense saved our tails today.”
The Ravens, 21-2, did so without much trouble. Reagan Hathaway smacked a solo shot over the right field wall in the first inning, and Halle England added an RBI single to left field in the fourth. Olathe Northwest added two more runs in the fifth.
Derby provided a scare in the seventh by scoring two runs with zero outs but ultimately stranded runners on second and third to end the game.
Olathe Northwest will play third-seeded Wichita-Northwest in the second semifinal on Friday.