Piper pitcher Abby Henry did exactly what she needed to on Thursday.
Mulvane outhit Piper 6-4 in the first round of the Class 4A-Division I softball tournament at Bill Burke Complex on Thursday. But each time Mulvane got a hit — one an inning — Henry had an answer in Piper’s 3-0 win.
“I don’t think she had her best stuff today, but she’s a good enough pitcher to know how to pitch and keep them off balance,” Piper coach Stan McAfee said. “She didn’t let them put two, three hits together.
“They’d get a hit and that’s it. We were fortunate they didn’t put two or three hits together."
Piper, 20-3, will play defending-champion Augusta, 19-4, in Friday’s semifinals at 10 a.m.
Throw in some timely hitting and stellar defense, and the Pirates had the perfect combination to get the win.
Henry opened the game with a walk, stole second, went to third on an error and scored on Brooklyn Lauritzen’s one-out double.
Piper took advantage of another Mulvane mistake in the second inning when Sandra Gosserand scored from second on a an error off Payton Nigh’s grounder to third.
Piper had three straight innings where it went down in order, but then the Pirates’ Ashley King singled, stole second and third and scored on Kiara Boyd’s single.
“We preach taking advantage of whatever’s given to us,” McAfee said. “We were fortunate that we had a couple opportunities to score, and we did.”
Baldwin upsets Spring Hill
Spring Hill coach Shelly Huber gathered her team off to the side of the softball fields following her team’s first-round 3-1 loss to Baldwin, 10-12.
Huber didn’t have a grand end-of-season speech. Instead she simply told her team that they had had a good season.
“We went 20-2,” she said. “That’s a really good season for us. It’s a good group of girls, great group of kids, and we’re going to miss them."
Spring Hill gave up two runs in the top of the third but quickly answered with a run in the bottom of the inning.
But while the Broncos equaled Baldwin’s hit total of five, they struggled to grind out any more runs.
“We just didn’t hit the ball,” Huber said. “Point blank. We were hitting the ball hard. We just hit it right to them or we didn’t get the timely hits we needed.”