Cats can’t keep up success
It was nearly a week ago, and in the end it didn't seem like all that pleasant of a memory.
Osawatomie's Jessica Jones blasted a two-run home run over the left-centerfield fence Friday, erasing De Soto's hard fought 11-9 lead and all but ending the Cats chance at upsetting the Trojans.
But Cat coach Kelly Dennis said she's not willing to let that game go though, and even if it will be remembered as little more than a loss to 99 percent of the world, she saw something more.
"We played well enough to win and we played a good team," Dennis said. "For us as a coaching staff, we take that 12-11 Osawatomie game as a win. That's a bigger win than any game we won this year."
It wasn't a good week for the Wildcat softballers. The Cats lost Friday in heartbreak fashion, falling 12-11 to Osawatomie, then losing the second game 13-5. De Soto fell 10-0 and 11-4 Tuesday against Baldwin.
But Dennis said Friday she saw what she's been looking for. Osawatomie is undefeated in league play and De Soto had the Trojans on the ropes.
Jessica Pennington scored one in the first, rounding the bags on a Meagan Bliss double, and the Cats erupted for four more runs in the second.
Lauren Burford doubled to left, Katie Davis walk and Cortney Rupe gave De Soto a 3-2 lead with a two-RBI double. Brittany Wright doubled Rupe home and Pennington notched the last hit of the inning, scoring Wright to set up a 5-2 advantage.
"It was a good team effort. It was one through nine in the batting order getting huge hits," Dennis said. "Last year we didn't even come close to beating Osawatomie. That was very exciting."
De Soto fell behind again, but rallied on a Lindsay Williams RBI single to take a 10-9 lead.
An Osawatomie double, an RBI single and finally, Jones' home run put the Cats in yet another hole in the seventh, and despite four out of five batters getting aboard via singles in the bottom of the seventh, De Soto couldn't muster enough for a final comeback.
"We matched them every time," Dennis said. "The most impressive thing was we came back, had four singles and loaded the bases after (the home run). For us to play as well as we did, that's great. "
More than anything, the resolve the team showed Friday may have added to Tuesday's frustration.
Shut out in five innings in the first game, De Soto managed only a slightly stronger effort in the second game, scoring four runs.
"It's kind of crazy after the way we attacked the ball against Osawatomie," Dennis said. "That was more disappointing than anything because we thought we had taken a huge leap against Osawatomie, then we stood back there and let the Baldwin pitcher throw it at us.
"We were a little bit better in the batter's box in the second game, but we watched more strikes go by tonight than we did the entire season."