Newly-minted No. 11 Labette nudged past Hesston in walk-off fashion, 12-11, in Game 1 of a KJCCC series on Wednesday before run-ruling Game 2 8-0.

The Cardinals led 8-4 through two innings in Game 1 before the Larks slowly chiseled away at the deficit. Four runs by Hesston in the top of the seventh gave it a 12-10 advantage.

A new pitcher in the circle for Hesston loaded the bases on walks and hit batters before she was yanked, setting the table for a game-tying single by Labette catcher Coralys Santiago-Pomales and a walk-off single by Hallee Boyd.

“That’s high character not giving up,” Labette head coach Ryan Phillips said. “After they lost the lead in the seventh, they came out and won a ballgame.” 

Labette was charged with nine errors in Game 1 while starting pitcher Jadeyn Wyrick was yanked early before re-entering and earning the win in relief.

“We haven’t put together the complete aspects of the game together yet,” Phillips said. “We haven’t pitched, fielded and hit well all together. We’re still scrapping and coming away with some close ballgames. If we put it all together, you never know what we can do.” 

Loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh without putting a ball in play spoke to Labette’s strategy offensively.

“That’s our overall approach, to be selectively aggressive,” Phillips said. “We want to make them work and put pressure on. That first hit-by-pitch got everybody excited. Offensively, that last inning was our best with our approach.” 

Cardinals third baseman Chloee Sams hit two home runs in the series but also struggled defensively in Game 1, committing three errors before being pulled from the lineup. Sams started Game 2 and homered in her first at-bat.

“Chloee coming out of the lineup is never due to her offense,” Phillips said. “We’ve got to have better defensive games from her. But she went back in there in Game 2 because of what she brings to the table offensively. She hits a shot in her first at-bat back. She can swing it very well and always gives us a good approach.” 

Santiago-Pomales and center fielder Morgan Schmidt also homered in Game 2. 

Labette is now 22-10 overall and 13-1 in KJCCC play while Hesston dropped to 12-10 and 4-6 respectively.

Labette’s schedule toughens up dramatically over the next three weeks as four of its next five conference series are against nationally ranked opponents.

That slate starts Saturday with a trip to No. 12 Kansas City Kansas, a squad the Cardinals swept at home to open conference play.

“They’re going to look back at what they did badly against us and make adjustments,” Phillips said. “They just swept Johnson County last week and they’re playing great. Those are going to be two big games.” 

Perched atop the KJCCC standings, the Cardinals’ mettle will be tested down the stretch. It starts with Saturday’s road trip.

“Going on the road and coming out with two is vital if we’re looking to be at the top of the conference at the end of the year,” Phillips said. 

 

NO. 11 LABETTE VS. HESSTON

Game 1

Labette 12, Hesston 11

Hesston: 220 300 4 — 11

Labette:  170 100 3 — 12

Notes

Labette: Morgan Schmidt 2 H, 2 R; Keira Jackson 2 R; Coralys Santiago-Pomales 2 H, 1 R, 3 RBI; Sunny Crawford 1 R; Hallee Boyd 2 H, 1 R, 1 RBI; Winter Snyder 1 H, 1 R, 2 RBI; Chloee Sams 2 H, 1 R, 3 RBI; Karlee Kinder 1 R; Makayla Davis 1 R; Jadeyn Wyrick (W) 2.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K; Layney Steging 4.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K

Hesston: Miranda 2 H, 2 R; Silvey 1 H, 3 R; Hopson 3 H, 2 R, 4 RBI; Gilmartin 3 R, 2 RBI; Rosas 4 H, 1 R, 3 RBI; Alanis 1 H, 1 RBI; Nava 1 H; Demartino (L) 0.1 IP, 0 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K; Fisher 6 IP, 11 h, 9 R, 8 ER, 6 BB, 2 K

 

Game 2

Labette 8, Hesston 0 (5 inn.)

Hesston: 000 00 — 0

Labette:  530 0x — 8

Notes

Labette: Morgan Schmidt 1 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; Keira Jackson 1 R; Coralys Santiago-Pomales 1 H, 1 R, 3 RBI; Grey Holland 1 H, 1 R; Winter Snyder 1 R; Chloee Sams 1 H, 1 R, 2 RBI; Natalie Oxendine 1 R; Katelyn Kotlarz (W) 5 Ip, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K

Hesston: Silvey 1 H, Hopson 1 H; Rosas 1 H; Stanton (L) 0.2 IP, 2 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Fisher 1.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K; Demartino 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

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