Freshman Cronin bright spot for Cat softball team
Cat comeback falls short
Kegan Cronin made the most of her opportunity last Thursday after she was called up from the junior varsity to make her varsity softball debut.
Unfortunately, the majority of the freshman's teammates didn't show up defensively or from the mound as the Wildcats lost 7-5 and 4-1 to Wellsville.
In just her second varsity at bat, Cronin earned her first hit and RBI in the same swing when she grounded a single between third base and shortstop. In her first at bat, the freshman hit a hard grounder to short but was thrown out at first. She finished the night 1-for-3 from the plate.
Her RBI registered the only Wildcat run in the second-game three-run loss to the Eagles.
"She really did well for us," Wildcats coach Kelly Dennis said. "She hit the ball hard and almost got two hits."
Unfortunately, Dennis struggled to find other positives in the twin bill. Wellsville out played the Wildcats in every phase of the game.
"We fall behind because of silly mistakes," Dennis said. "And then I think they (her players) feel like, 'Oh well, we'll be able to come back.' They're oblivious to the fact that we can't make those mistakes."
Normally, De Soto's pitchers have performed well. But against Wellsville even they struggled.
Lauren Burford started the first game and gave up just four hits and one earned run. But she walked four batters and her defense committed nine errors behind her. Burford didn't strike out a single Eagle hitter.
De Soto's starting pitcher in the second game didn't fare much better. Meagan Bliss allowed just two Eagle hits but dished out six walks and struck out two enemy batters. Bliss didn't give up an earned run. The De Soto defense botched four plays for her.
Bliss found herself in trouble in the nightcap when she walked two batters in the first inning, but she was able to get out of the jam. In the seventh inning, the sophomore wasn't so lucky. The Eagles rallied from a 1-0 deficit by scoring all four of their runs in the inning. Bliss gave up a hit and walked two hitters in the inning.
Leslie Elmer scored the lone Wildcat run in the fourth inning following Cronin's single.
In the first game, Wellsville struck first in the bottom half of the first inning by tallying a run. De Soto answered with two of its own in the second inning.
But the Wildcats didn't have an answer for the five runs Wellsville put up in the fourth inning, and fell behind 6-2. After De Soto cut the deficit to 6-4 in the top of the sixth inning, Wellsville secured the win with a run in the sixth inning.
The Wildcats were in position to get the win in the seventh inning when they had the bases loaded with two outs. But Leslie Elmer struck out, ending the game.
Lauren Hampton was the hottest Wildcat batter with two hits in six at bats in the two games. She also walked twice, scored a run and knocked one in. Her hits were a double and a triple and landed her an .833 slugging percentage and a .500 on base percentage.
Trisha King was 2-for-6 with a couple of runs knocked in. Bliss, Elmer and Kayla Bader had two hits each. Elmer scored three runs, knocked in another and walked twice.
The Wildcats are ninth in the league standings with a 2-7 conference mark. Spring Hill (10-0) holds onto a slim lead in the standings over Ottawa (9-0).
De Soto, 3-10, plays at 5:30 p,m. Thursday against Eudora and Osawatomie in Osawatomie.