Upset bid for Railer softball falls short
GODDARD — The Newton High School softball team showed how far its come in recent years with a 21-0 win over Hays Tuesday in the Class 5A regional semifinals in Goddard.
The Railers were shown how much farther they need to go to become among the area’s elite teams with a 5-3 loss to second-seeded Goddard Eisenhower in the regional finals.
“We played hard all night,” Newton coach Danny Parks said. “I couldn’t be prouder of them. That’s the no. 2 seed in the regional. That’s a very good team. They’ve beaten a lot of teams this year. We had them on their heels for four innings. And then we got the two outs, and just couldn’t get the third one. They put together some good hits. Tegan was still pitching the ball well, they just got some good hits. That’s what good teams do. At the end of the day, like we were telling Mallory (Seirer) and Toria (That), this being their last game, four years ago, we didn’t win a game. This year, we’re regional runners-up. We played in the championship game and we played a respectable level.”
Newton took the lead against Eisenhower in the top of the second inning. With two outs, MacKenzie Cusick drew a walk. Reese McCord followed with a bunt single that Eisenhower misplayed, allowing both baserunners to score.
In the top of the fourth, Alyssa Mapes singled, went to second on a wild pitch, went to third on a bunt and scored on a MacKenzie Cusick single.
With two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the fifth, Lauren McNaught hit an RBI single. An error allowed the two remaining baserunners to move up a base. Audry Rumsey then singled to add another run. After a dropped foul ball that would have ended the inning, Calli McConnell hit a two-run single to put the Tigers in the lead.
Eisenhower loaded the bases to open the sixth inning, but only managed one run.
The Railers had baserunners in both the sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to move them.
Allyson Montgomery pitched the win for Eisenhower, allowing one earned run on five hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Tegan Livesay took the loss for Newton, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with six walks and nine strikeouts.
Carsyn McCue had two hits for Goddard. Mallory Seirer went three for four hitting for Newton, including a pair of doubles.
Eisenhower, 18-4, advances to the Class 5A state tournament May 27 and 28 at Wichita State.
“We came out against Hays and hit the ball well,” Parks said. “We didn’t hit the ball bad against Eisenhower. That girl was a good pitcher. She has been shutting teams out all year. We played them on their field and we played hard. I couldn’t be more proud of them right now. We did everything we could. We have a lot to build on. The future looks bright for us.”
In the semifinals, Newton scored nine runs in the third inning and 12 runs in the fifth, sending 17 batters to the plate.
Livesay pitched the win and hit a two-run home run in the game.
Hays ends the season 12-9.
Newton ends the season 11-11, claiming its first post-season win in years, as well as the most wins overall in years.
“When you look at how many freshmen and sophomores were in that game, a couple juniors,” Parks said. “We lose Mallory and Toria, and those will be big shoes to fill, no doubt about it. We have more kids coming up next year. Newton softball is a very good position right now.”
Livesay (W) and MacKenzie Cusick; Thomas (L) and Fagan. HR — N: Livesay.
Livesay (L) and MacKenzie Cusick; Montgomery (W) and Mastin.
Mark Schnabel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org