Railers reach .500 with sweep
It’s been a long time since the Newton High School softball team finished the season at .500 or better, but the Railers accomplished that feat Friday with a sweep of Hutchinson in AV-CTL I play at Kelsch Field.
Newton won the first game 7-4 and the second game 14-7.
“The pitching was good,” Newton coach Danny Park said. “We got Alyssa (Mapes) and Kenna (Cusick) some time. Overall, in the second game, we played better overall. We hit the ball better. In the first game, we were kind of flat. We didn’t play terrible, but we didn’t play great.”
“The girls battled well,” Hutchinson coach Clayton Evans said. “We made some small mistakes, but those are ones that we can fix. They know they can fix them. Once we do that, we’ll stop competing and start winning. They can do it. They know they can. They have great attitudes. No one is throwing fits. No one is getting mad at each other. There is great team chemistry. That goes a long way.”
In the first game, Tegan Livesay pitched seven innings for the win, allowing no earned runs on five hits with five walks and 11 strikeouts. Riley Lusk allowed five earned runs on four hits with seven walks and five strikeouts.
Newton took the lead with five runs in the second inning. The first two runs came on a wild pitch and an error. Mallory Seirer hit a two-run single. A wild pitch led to another run.
With two outs in the top of the third, Hutchinson scored on an error and a passed ball.
Alyssa Mapes hit a two-run single for Newton in the fourth inning. Hutchinson scored a run in the fifth inning on an error and on a passed ball in the sixth.
Mapes finished two for two hitting.
In the second game, Livesay threw five innings, allowing five runs on six hits with a walk and 11 strikeouts. Mapes and McKennah Cusick each threw an inning of relief.
Hutchinson jumped out of the gates in the second game with a four-run first inning, but the Railers replied with five runs in the bottom of the first.
Newton scored in every inning but the fifth. Hutchinson got back in the game with a run in the fifth inning and two runs in the sixth.
Livesay and MacKenzie Cusick each drove in three runs for Newton on two hits. Olivia Sandoval and Reese McCord each had three hits with an RBI for the Railers.
Lusk had three hits with three RBIs for Hutchison. Karcin Regier added two hits with an RBI.
Jayden Rehlander went the distance for Hutchinson, allowing seven earned runs on 15 hits with three walks and a strikeout.
Hutchinson is 4-16, 0-12 in league play. Hutchinson plays in the Class 6A regionals, which begin May 17.
“We will find out tomorrow where our regional is,” Evans said. “In post season, everyone has the same record. We get a full week of practice. We’ll take tons of ground balls and tons of fly balls. We’ll get some confidence and be ready to roll. And the next time, we’ll get after it.”
Newton is 10-10, 6-6 in league play. Newton plays in the Class 5A regionals, which begin May 17.
“We may have locked up the 10 seed,” Park said. “If it ended today, we may end up playing Kapaun(-Mt. Carmel) or Hays. That could change because a lot of teams have a lot of games to make up next week. I don’t know if we can move any higher. We’ll probably play at the two seed. We have quality wins in there. Everyone outside of Derby, we have split with or swept. We have wins against Maize, Maize South, Campus, Salina South. We split with Salina South and they come down and blow Campus out of the water. We split with Maize and they swept Derby.
“The beauty of it is, we’ll just keep practicing. We’ll bring three or four JV players up with us and we’ll be working with them. We have a week and a half to get ready for it.”
Lusk (L) and Smith; Livesay (W) and McKenzie Cusick.
Rehlander (L) and Smith; Livesay (W), Mapes 6, McKennah Cusick 7 and McKenzie Cusick.
AV-CTL I Standings
Mark Schnabel can be reached at email@example.com