Labette softball was off the field for nearly an entire year, but you wouldn’t guess it as the Cardinals routed Maple Woods in a sweep to open the season at home on Thursday. Labette won the first game 17-2 before taking the second game 13-5.
“We had signs of swinging the bat well and adjusted to the pitching,” Labette head coach Ryan Phillips said. “Making those in-game adjustments is a good thing to see this early. Our hitters did a great job of that.”
In Game 1, Labette hit three home runs off the bats of Karlee Kinder, Hallee Boyd and Layney Steging. Kinder’s bomb was a grand slam.
Steging also earned the win in the circle for the Cardinals, lasting all five frames and allowing five hits and one earned run.
In Game 2, the Cardinals’ bats stayed hot with home runs from Kylie Wood and Grey Holland. The lone sophomore on roster, Holland tallied five RBI in the game.
Freshman Katelyn Kotlarz got the victory in the circle for Labette in her first college appearance, pitching all five innings and giving up eight hits and three earned runs. She also walked five batters.
“It wasn’t our best two outings in pitching,” Phillips said. “They were working from behind in counts and missing the zone by just a little bit. They still threw well.”
The Cardinals’ offense flashed power throughout the lineup during the two wins.
“We’re not going to be somebody that sets the national home run record,” Phillips said. “But that was part of the adjustment we made in game. Being effective offensively was nice. And we have power consistently.”
Phillips was most critical of his team’s defensive effort as the Cardinals were charged with seven errors in the field over the two games.
“We had defensive mistakes back-to-back,” Phillips said. “We have to minimize those, shut the mistake out and not let it pile on.”
Labette’s season resumed on Friday with a doubleheader at NEO A&M. The Cardinals face NEO A&M again at home on Saturday for two more games.
LABETTE VS. MAPLE WOODS
Labette 17, Maple Woods 2
Maple Woods: 020 00 — 2
Labette: 1101 5x — 17
Labette: Morgan Schmidt 3 H, 3 R, 1 RBI; Karlee Kinder 3 H, 1 R, 4 RBI; Winter Snyder 1 H, 1 R; Chloee Sams 1 R, 2 RBI; Grey Holland 2 H, 2 R; Hallee Boyd 2 H, 3 R, 3 RBI; Savannah Hutchinson 1 H, 1 R, 1 RBI; Layney Steging 2 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; Makayla Davis 2 R, 1 RBI; Steging (W) 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
Labette 13, Maple Woods 5
Maple Woods: 014 00 — 5
Labette: 417 02 — 14
Labette: Morgan Schmidt 3 H, 2 R, 1 RBI; Karlee Kinder 2 R; Hallee Boyd 3 H, 2 R, 1 RBI; Grey Holland 3 H, 2 R, 5 RBI; Lanie Patterson 2 H, 2 R; Kylie Wood 1 H, 1 R, 2 RBI; Svannah Hutchinson 2 H, 1 R, 3 RBI; Chaise Miller 2 H, 1 R, 1 RBI; Natalie Oxendine 1 H; Keira Jackson 1 RBI; Katelyn Kotlarz (W) 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K