MAIZE — Like a lot of games this season, the Newton High School softball team was able to put pressure on a higher-ranked opponent until a bad inning took the Railers out of the game.
Tied 5-5 against Maize South in the semifinals of the Class 5A regional tournament in Maize, the Mavericks scored 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth to claim a 15-5 win.
“They were able to come back and we couldn’t make plays,” Newton coach Danny Park said. “Our pitching wasn’t as good as it has been. Megan (Watkins) started out well and we did well defensively early on. I guarantee anyone who read the Eagle today thought we would be done in three innings. Going into the bottom of the fifth, we were tied 5-5 and the wheels just fell off. There were some plays that didn’t get made. We made some great plays early in the game. I’m proud of the effort.”
Newton took the lead in the top of the first inning on a Toria Thaw RBI double.
South loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the second, scoring runs on a wild pitch, Ryley Kennedy, Lauren Johnson and Alexa Davidson each singled to score a run.
Newton loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth. The Railers scored a run on a wild pitch. Emily Peaney hit a two-run double. Mallory Seirer drove in a run on a single.
A three-base error and an Ashlie Thissen single tied the game in the bottom of the fourth.
Three Railer doubles plays in innings two, three and four kept the Mavericks’ offense in check.
South opened the bottom of the fifth with a walk and a ground out. Kylee Yocum drove in a run with a single.
A hit batter and an error led to another South run. The Mavericks then scored on a bases-loaded walk, an error and a wild pitch.
After another walk loaded the bases, Emma Edwards hit a grand slam.
After an error and a walk, South scored on a passed ball. Leah Self singled to score a run and end the game.
Thissen and Alyssa Kerr each went two for three hitting for South.
Jenny Rubio went two for three for Newton.
Thissen claimed the win in relief of Carley Sterneker. Thissen went 1.1 innings, allowing no runs, no hits, a walk and three strikeouts. Sterneker allowed five runs on seven hits with a strikeout and three walks.
Newton’s Megan Watkins went four innings for a no-decision, allowing eight hits with two walks and four earned runs. McKennah Cusick took the loss, allowing one earned run on three hits with five walks.
Newton ends the season 6-15, losing three seniors, but just one starter.
“From the last three years, we have made a lot of progress,” Park said. “We have lot of good players coming back. We’ll miss Emily (Peaney) in centerfield. We just need one or two more pieces, but we have something to build on. I’m unhappy with the final score because it was 5-5 going into the bottom of the fifth, but I’m proud of the effort. We just need to play seven innings.”
Class 5A Regionals
Tuesday at Maize
Maize South 15, Newton 5
Watkins, Cusick (L) 5 and Rains; Sternecker, Thissen (W) 4 and Edwards. HR — MS: Edwards.
Goddard Eisenhower 11, Andover Central 6
Maize South 8, Goddard Eisenhower 7