Olathe South will have a chance to win its second straight Kansas 6A state softball championship game Saturday.
The Falcons held off No. 1 seed Olathe Northwest 9-7 in Friday’s semifinals at Blue Valley West.
It wasn’t a game for great pitching, and Olathe South coach Michael Allen brought in senior Lexi Storrer to replace senior starter Maryssa Rollin in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“Our starting pitcher told us she didn’t have it,” Allen said. “She was very unselfish.”
Storrer pitched a complete game in the Thursday’s 7-2 quarterfinal victory over Gardner-Edgerton but was the losing pitcher in the Falcons’ 5-2 loss to Olathe Northwest in a Sunflower League game earlier in the season.
“I wanted to pitch my game,” Storrer said. “I lost to them earlier in the season. I wanted to relax and do what I do.”
Storrer proceeded to strike out three batters in a row for the save.
The key to the game, Allen said, was when Olathe Northwest loaded the bases with no one out in the bottom of the fifth inning and was only able to score two runs.
“We were able to limit the damage,” he said.
The top of the fifth turned out to be key for the Falcons. They had five walks, a two-run double by senior Kacey Kennett and an RBI double by senior Abigail Weber while scoring five runs.
Senior first baseman Bailey Boxberger added a 236-foot home run to center field in the sixth inning.
For Olathe Northwest, junior catcher Halle England had a three-run triple in the bottom of the sixth that cut the Falcons’ margin to 9-7.
In the other semifinal, Olathe East and Topeka Washburn Rural were scoreless in the top of the third inning. Olathe East senior shortstop Kaylee Byers was at the plate with two outs and a 3-2 count when the umpires stopped the game because of heavy rain.
When tournament officials decided to suspend the game, the field was almost a lake.
The game will be finished at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by the championship game at 1 p.m.
There will not be a third-place game.
Because to the threat of severe weather, the third-place game in Class 5A in Wichita was called off.
St. Thomas Aquinas’ championship hopes ended with an 11-1 run-rule loss to Topeka Seamen.
Seaman jumped all over Aquinas early, scoring six runs in the first two innings on the way to a run-rule victory. The Vikings hit a three-run home run in the first inning and a grand slam in the fourth.
Third place will be awarded to both teams that lost in the semifinals.