Hinkle ready to take on role as LHS activities director

Walking into Scott Hinkle’s office, it doesn’t appear he started a new job two weeks ago.

The moving boxes are mostly gone. His desk is organized with everything in its place, along with a calendar crammed full of upcoming events.

Hinkle is not shy to tell people about his love for the Boston Red Sox. Sitting on one wall are two older chairs from Fenway Park, along other memorabilia.

The one thing that Hinkle hasn’t caught up on is his efforts to get some purple gear. An avid Kansas Jayhawk fan, he hasn’t had need to purchase any purple flair in the past. Seems like that will change shortly as he was hired as the new activities director and assistant principal at Louisburg High School earlier this summer.

“I have been a Jayhawk fan all my life,” Hinkle said. “It will be a little weird to wear purple that is for sure, but I am sure I will get used to it. Before I left my old job, people found out where I was going so they started giving me little gifts with purple on it, like markers and stuff like that. They definitely got a kick out of that.”

Hinkle takes over for Jeremy Holloway, who was promoted to principal at LHS and becomes the third activities director in as many years to take over that spot.

“My wife has family in Kansas City and I have family in Wichita and so we were looking to come this way,” Hinkle said. “I had a couple friends that told me that the Louisburg position had opened up. I had heard of Louisburg a long time ago. I actually coached at Ottawa University in the early 90s and was familiar with the area. I came up, interviewed and here I am. It has obviously worked out well.

“Everyone has been so helpful and friendly and it is a good time to be coming to Louisburg. I am excited to be here.”

Before taking the job in Louisburg, Hinkle had spent the last 22 years in the Liberal school district in a variety of roles. He served as the boys high school basketball coach, along with nine years as an activities director, a year as the head girls basketball coach at the local community college and last year he served as assistant principal at the high school.

Hinkle graduated from Valley Center High School, and went on from there to earn his bachelor’s degree from Friends University, where he played basketball, and his master’s from the University of Kansas.

Basketball has always been a passion for Hinkle, but during his time as activities director at Liberal, he had a chance to learn the life of other sports as well.

“Liberal changed a lot from when I first got there in the mid 90s when they were a football and track powerhouse,” Hinkle said. “There were just athletes galore, but the culture kind of changed. We were really good in soccer and decent in track and volleyball. We still had good kids and good athletes, but it was a big transition as far as sports go when I first got there. My kids grew up there and being involved and being able to watch their events was something that has always appealed to me.

“Basketball has always been in my blood. Other than my nine years as athletic director, I have coached in some capacity and I am a big basketball fan. Obviously, being an athletic director I am just a big sports fan in general.”

Still new in town, Hinkle is still trying to get to know his coaching staff, but he is excited about the situation he is walking into with the Wildcats finishing as state runner-ups in volleyball and girls soccer last season. Several cross country, golf, wrestling and track athletes also earned state medals.

However, if there is one thing he wanted to relay to everyone is that he wants to give his coaches the freedom to run their programs.

“I want to let the coaches, coach,” he said. “I am not going to be the guy that says this is how we did things in Liberal and I am not that type of leader. If it comes to the point where they need some advice, I want to be a resource for them. I don’t want to be someone that is looking for something.

“I have met a few of the coaches. I have let them know that I am here if they need anything. I have stopped by the weight room to speak to a few coaches and some have stopped by to introduce themselves. I am still learning names and faces. We have a coaches meeting on the 10th and I will see and learn a lot more about them then.”

With all the success the Wildcats had last season in the sports arena, Hinkle is happy to be a part of the LHS family and is learning new things about the town every day.

“I have heard all types of things,” he said. “I have heard they take football pretty seriously here. I know they were state runner-up in volleyball and girls soccer last year and that is an exciting thing to walk into. I think expectations are obviously high in those sports, but I think everyone always has high expectations. I am not going to do anything different than normal and I am just going to sit back and observe for a while and take it all in.”

Hinkle will experience some different things along with his new position. This season, the Frontier League will welcome three new teams – Bonner Springs, Piper and Tonganoxie – and will say goodbye to De Soto.

Another big change will be the postseason formats with several sports as the Kansas State High School Activities Association reshuffled their classification system, eliminating Class 4A-Division II.

“With the changes in the league, the classification system and being a new AD, it is probably a good time to be coming on,” Hinkle said. “The learning curve is going to be the same for all of us.

“I walked into a good situation for scheduling because (Holloway) already had everything all taken care of,” he said. “I think the dynamics of the league are going to change. Liberal’s former girls basketball coach is the coach at Piper and I know a little bit about them. As far as the programs and rivalries, that is something that is going to come with time.”

Even with all the changes in his life – moving, starting a new job, getting to know new faces – Hinkle is ready for what lies ahead and the staff at Louisburg has helped with that transition.

“It has been a whirlwind and it has been information overload,” he said. “It is a lot of the same things I did in Liberal as athletic director, I just haven’t done it for the last five years. Being an assistant principal at Liberal last year, I think, helped me prepare for the principal side.

“People have just gone out of their way to be helpful. From the administration to the custodial staff to the secretaries, everyone has been super helpful. When I was out around town, people have welcomed me and it has been a friendly feel everywhere I have been.”




Rison named to Class 4A-Division 1 all-state softball team

Molly Rison had a successful season for the Louisburg softball team as she earned all-league honors earlier this month, but most recently, Rison was named to the Class 4A-Division I all-state team.

 

Louisburg’s Molly Rison had a junior season to remember for the Lady Cat softball team as she was one of the team’s best offensive players, and because of that, she earned first team all-league honors.

Those honors continue to roll in for Rison, but this time, it is on a bigger level.

Rison was recently named to the Class 4A-Division I All-State second team that was decided on by the Kansas high school softball coaches. She was named to the second team infield thanks to her work at first base and at catcher.

“Molly earned a well-deserved honor,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “She was the quiet leader of the team in clutch situations. With the struggles this team experienced this season, she remained consistent, driven, and focused on helping the team.”

Rison had a big season for Louisburg as she led the Lady Cats in four statistical categories as she finished the season with a .508 average and had a .720 slugging percentage. She also had 33 hits on the year to go along with 10 doubles, one home run and 30 RBIs.

Rison was one of four Frontier League players to earn all-state honors. Spring Hill’s Regan Smith (utility) and Elizabeth Hays (outfield), along with Eudora’s Kyla Etter (pitcher), were selected to the first team.




Rison earns first team all-league honors; Lady Cats selected for 3 spots

Louisburg junior Molly Rison had a big season for the Lady Cats as she led the team if four statistical categories and was recently named to the All-Frontier League first team. 

 

The Louisburg High School softball team may have not had the season it wanted after finishing with a 3-18 record, but a few individuals caught the eye of the Frontier League coaches.

In fact, three Lady Cats earned All-Frontier League honors when the teams were released last week and one player was considered among the best the league had to offer.

Junior Molly Rison was a first team selection in the infield as she was a fixture in the middle of the Lousiburg lineup. The Lady Cats also had a pair of honorable mention selections in sophomore Kayla Willey (infield) and junior Karson Griggs (utility).

Rison had a big season for Louisburg as she led the Lady Cats in four statistical categories as she finished the season with a .508 average and had a .720 slugging percentage. She also had 33 hits on the year to go along with 10 doubles, one home run and 30 RBIs.

“Molly earned a well-deserved honor,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “She was the quiet leader of the team in clutch situations. With the struggles this team experienced this season, she remained consistent, driven, and focused on helping the team.

“A catcher by trade, she unselfishly gave up that position to help out with some other areas of need. She was our team leader in average, RBI’s, slugging percentage and OPS. She earned top honors as being one of only four infielders chosen in the toughest league in 4A.”

Karson Griggs earned an honorable mention all-league selection at the utility spot.

Griggs also had a good season for the Lady Cats at the plate and played all over the diamond. She ended the year with a .420 average, which included 23 hits, eight RBIs, six doubles and a home run as she hit near the top of the lineup most of the season. She also led the team with 29 runs scored.

Defensively, Griggs committed just five errors in 20 games as she saw a lot of time at third base and in the outfield.

“In my opinion, Karson deserved the same honor as Molly,” Ozier said. “She was forced to shift around to many positions to help a team decimated with injures, health issues and attrition. Like Molly, and couple of our other upper classmen (Maddie Svoboda, Bailey Kern, Bailey Sarna, and Kelsey Higginbotham), Karson was unselfish in her willingness to be moved around in the defensive lineup.”

Louisburg second baseman Kayla Willey was also selected as an all-Frontier League honorable mention.

Willey earned another league spot for Louisburg after strong season at second base. In 13 games, she had a .417 average, had 10 hits and eight RBIs. She was also strong defensively as she didn’t commit an error the entire season.

“Kayla was a nice surprise to be given honorable mention recognition at second base,” Ozier said. “She was forced to miss part of the season following surgery. Kayla was able to play second base only about half the season.”

 

ALL-FRONTIER LEAGUE SOFTBALL

FIRST TEAM

INFIELD: Kamryn Shaffer, senior, Ottawa; Molly Rison, junior, Louisburg; Betsy Parmley, senior, Baldwin; Sierra Smith, sophomore, Eudora

OUTFIELD: Sienna Hall, senior, Baldwin; Audrey Flowers, junior, Baldwin; Elizabeth Hays, senior, Spring Hill

CATCHER: Gaige Pinkerton, freshman, Spring Hill

PITCHER: Jordan Johnson, senior, Paola; Kyla Etter, junior, Eudora

UTILITY: Regan Smith, senior, Spring Hill

 

SECOND TEAM

INFIELD: Jenna DeVore, senior, Ottawa; Hannah Menefee, junior, Paola; Paige Cooper, sophomore, Spring Hill; Kennedy Doherty, senior, Eudora

OUTFIELD: Justine Kennington, junior, Ottawa; Aubrey Weatherbie, sophomore, Paola; Devin Pucell, senior, Eudora

CATCHER: Emma Grossoehme, freshman, Baldwin

PITCHER: Layney Steging, junior, Spring Hill

UTILITY: Hannah Pearce, senior, Paola

 

HONORABLE MENTION

INFIELD: Halle Schindler, junior, Paola; Kayla Willey, sophomore, Louisburg; Avery Karlin, freshman, De Soto; Kellee Wiggins, senior, Baldwin; Megan Kennedy, junior, Eudora

OUTFIELD: Alli Kerns, junior, Ottawa; Jordan Diehl, sophomore, De Soto; McKInley Markley, senior, Baldwin

CATCHER: Jocelyn Woods, senior, Ottawa; Josie Bedford, senior, De Soto; Alaina Howe, senior, Eudora

UTILITY: Karson Griggs, junior, Louisburg




All-Frontier League Baseball, Girls Soccer and Softball teams

ALL-FRONTIER LEAGUE BASEBALL

FIRST TEAM

INFIELD: Darren Winans, senior, De Soto; Kurt Golubski, senior, Paola; Chad Bones, junior, Ottawa; Kaleb Shaffer, senior, Ottawa

OUTFIELD: Khalil Thrasher, senior, Eudora; Jackson Burrell, senior, Spring Hill; Nick Modes, senior, Paola

CATCHER: Chandler Bloomer, senior, Ottawa

PITCHER: Conner Mackay, senior, De Soto; Jared Parenti, senior, Ottawa

UTILITY: Anthony Slaughter, senior, De Soto

 

SECOND TEAM

INFIELD: Bryce Mohl, senior, De Soto; Cody Lucas, senior, Spring Hill; Nash Dreiling, senior, Paola; Chris Wilks, senior, Baldwin

OUTFIELD: Jack Barger, senior, De Soto; Peyton Garvin, senior, Eudora; Madden Rutherford, sophomore, Louisburg

CATCHER: Evan Peuser, sophomore, Paola

PITCHER: Tyler Barkemeyer, junior, De Soto; Jake Schrock, senior, Baldwin

UTILITY: Michael Daggett, sophomore, Paola

 

HONORABLE MENTION

INFIELD: Conner Mackay, senior, De Soto; Bryce Towles, senior, Spring Hill; Luke Angermayer, senior, Paola; Owen LaMar, senior, Ottawa; Jake Schrock, senior, Baldwin; Garrett Caldwell, senior, Louisburg

OUTFIELD: Connor Strouse, senior, De Soto; Zade Barker, sophomore, Spring Hill; Wyatt Johnston, senior, Paola; Garrett Owings, senior, Baldwin

CATCHER: Corbyn Meyers, sophomore, Spring Hill; Garrett Borth, senior, Baldwin

PITCHER: Jayden Pierce, junior, Eudora; Garret Trimmer, junior, Paola; Chance Crowley, senior, Ottawa

UTILITY: Cameron Reynolds, junior, Ottawa; Ty Bennett, junior, Baldwin; Garrett Harding, sophomore, Louisburg

 

 

ALL-FRONTIER LEAGUE GIRLS SOCCER

FIRST TEAM

Caitlin Countryman, junior, Baldwin

Josie Boyle, sophomore, Baldwin

Mackenzie Mohl, sophomore, De Soto

Jordan Zade, freshman, De Soto

Morgan Laplante, junior, De Soto

Bailey Belcher, senior, Louisburg

Mackenzie Scholtz, sophomore, Louisburg

Sara Watson, senior, Spring Hill

Mallory Smith, junior, Spring Hill

Anna Watson, senior, Spring Hill

GOALIE: Taylor Rogers, senior, De Soto

 

SECOND TEAM

Anna Burnett, sophomore, Baldwin

Caitlin Walton, senior, De Soto

Alexa Rosetta, senior, De Soto

Alex Schemmel, senior, De Soto

Kate Erpelding, freshman, Eudora

Alex Pascua, freshman, Eudora

Erin Lemke, sophomore, Louisburg

Amanda Wray, senior, Ottawa

Jasmine Diaz, senior, De Soto

Kaylen Dawson, sophomore, Spring Hill

GOALIE: Emery Mounce, sophomore, Spring Hill

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Lauren Russell, freshman, Baldwin

Samantha McKinney, senior, Baldwin

Ashley Panagakis, junior, De Soto

Krista Rush, junior, De Soto

Nicole Whitten, senior, Eudora

Kaitlyn Lewer, junior, Louisburg

Trinity Moore, sophomore, Louisburg

Savannah Reinhart, senior, Louisburg

Lexi Dillon, freshman, Spring Hill

GOALIE: Shay Whiting, senior, Louisburg; Britney Smith, senior, Ottawa

 

ALL-FRONTIER LEAGUE SOFTBALL

FIRST TEAM

INFIELD: Kamryn Shaffer, senior, Ottawa; Molly Rison, junior, Louisburg; Betsy Parmley, senior, Baldwin; Sierra Smith, sophomore, Eudora

OUTFIELD: Sienna Hall, senior, Baldwin; Audrey Flowers, junior, Baldwin; Elizabeth Hays, senior, Spring Hill

CATCHER: Gaige Pinkerton, freshman, Spring Hill

PITCHER: Jordan Johnson, senior, Paola; Kyla Etter, junior, Eudora

UTILITY: Regan Smith, senior, Spring Hill

 

SECOND TEAM

INFIELD: Jenna DeVore, senior, Ottawa; Hannah Menefee, junior, Paola; Paige Cooper, sophomore, Spring Hill; Kennedy Doherty, senior, Eudora

OUTFIELD: Justine Kennington, junior, Ottawa; Aubrey Weatherbie, sophomore, Paola; Devin Pucell, senior, Eudora

CATCHER: Emma Grossoehme, freshman, Baldwin

PITCHER: Layney Steging, junior, Spring Hill

UTILITY: Hannah Pearce, senior, Paola

 

HONORABLE MENTION

INFIELD: Halle Schindler, junior, Paola; Kayla Willey, sophomore, Louisburg; Avery Karlin, freshman, De Soto; Kellee Wiggins, senior, Baldwin; Megan Kennedy, junior, Eudora

OUTFIELD: Alli Kerns, junior, Ottawa; Jordan Diehl, sophomore, De Soto; McKInley Markley, senior, Baldwin

CATCHER: Jocelyn Woods, senior, Ottawa; Josie Bedford, senior, De Soto; Alaina Howe, senior, Eudora

UTILITY: Karson Griggs, junior, Louisburg




Lady Cats come up short to Spring Hill on Senior Night

Louisburg junior Karson Griggs puts the ball in play Monday during the Lady Cats’ home game with Spring Hill at Lewis-Young Park. Louisburg fell in both games, 17-2 and 17-7. 

 

The Louisburg High School softball team took its home field for the final time Monday when it hosted Spring Hill in a doubleheader.

The two games didn’t turn out like the Lady Cats had hoped as they fell to the defending Class 4A-Division I state champion, 17-2, in the opener and then, 17-7, in the nightcap. It was also Senior Night for the Lady Cats as they honored their lone senior, Skylar Keaton, in between games.

“Spring Hill came in and made a statement early with their hitting,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “Game one got away from us early and we never recovered.

“Game two was a much different story. We came out and took an early lead. The girls battled hard until the sixth, when we got sloppy with our defense and lost our composure. We had plenty of scoring opportunities, including a bases loaded situation with no out, but came up empty time and time again.”

In the opener, the Lady Cats took an early 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Kayla Willey singled to bring home Molly Rison, and two batters later, Reilly Ratliff-Becher singled home Willey to give Louisburg the lead.

Spring Hill’s offense came to life as the Broncos scored four runs each in the next two innings and then had an 8-run fifth inning to break the game open. Regan Smith and Paige Cooper each had a home run for Spring Hill and Smith led the team with 5 RBIs to go along with a pair of doubles.

Louisburg senior Skylar Keaton was honored in-between games Monday during a Senior Night ceremony. Standing next Skylar are her parents Courtney and Miles Keaton.

Rison led the Louisburg offense with three hits, including a double, while Ratliff-Becher finished the game with two singles.

The Lady Cats (3-17) were able to stay with the Broncos through five innings in the second game. Louisburg took a 3-0 lead into the third inning, before Spring Hill responded with four runs.

Louisburg took the lead right back with two runs in the bottom of the third, and after trailing again, tied the game with a run in the fourth. Spring Hill, however, scored six runs in the sixth and five more in the seventh to secure the sweep.

Sophomore Shayla Meyer had two hits to lead the Lady Cat attack, while freshman Alyse Moore had a 2-run double and Rison also had a single that scored two runs. Karson Griggs, Brooklyn Diederich and Paige Eccher also had RBIs for Louisburg. Ratliff-Becher and Maddie Svoboda each had a double as well.

The Lady Cats will enter postseason play this Monday when they travel to Ottawa for the Class 4A regional tournament. Louisburg, which is the No. 4 seed, will square off with No. 1 Paola at 3 p.m.




Lady Cats fall in doubleheader to Ottawa

Louisburg second baseman Kayla Willey makes a throw to first Tuesday during the Lady Cats’ game with Ottawa. The Lady Cats lost both games of the doubleheader to Ottawa, 15-8 and 10-3.

 

OTTAWA – The Louisburg High School softball team went to Ottawa on Tuesday in hopes of building on its two-game winning streak.

Although they got off to a good start, the Lady Cats couldn’t keep up with the Cyclones. Louisburg suffered a pair of 15-8 and 10-3 losses that saw the winning streak come to a halt.

Offense wasn’t a problem in the opener as Louisburg took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the second, but Ottawa scored six runs in the frame and eventually built a six-run lead after four innings.

Errors didn’t help the Lady Cat cause as they committed five in the contest and Ottawa scored their 15 runs on 16 hits. Louisburg starting pitcher Shayla Meyer was knocked out of the game in the second inning when she was hit in the knee on a sharp base hit up the middle.

Freshman Brooklyn Diederich pitched the final 4-plus innings and gave up just three earned runs.

“The girls came out in game one with some great at-bats and timely hitting,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “Our table-setters did a nice job of getting on base for our run-producers. We had them on the ropes until they started to capitalize with some big hits and some runs on a few of our errors.

“We continue to go through some growing pains with some of our younger, less-experienced players. However, the older girls are very, very positive with their younger teammates. We continue to learn and get better on offense and defense.”

Louisburg junior Molly Rison led the Lady Cat bats with three hits and 3 RBIs, which included a double. Another junior, Maddie Svoboda, finished with two hits, including a 2-run home run in the fourth inning.

Karson Griggs, Kayla Willey and Lauren Cutshaw also had two hits each for Louisburg. Willey finished with 2 RBIs and Griggs also drove in a run.

In the second game, Svoboda again swung a hot bat for Louisburg as she added two more hits and 3 RBIs, including a 2-run home run in the third inning to help cut into the Ottawa lead. It was Svoboda’s fourth home run in as many games.

Griggs also had a pair of hits to help the Lady Cat offense, but unfortunately for Louisburg, Svoboda and Griggs were the lone players to get a hit.

The Lady Cats (3-15) trailed by just one run going into the bottom of the sixth inning, but Ottawa scored six times in the frame to pull away for a win. For the second game in a row, Louisburg committed five errors, which helped lead to six Ottawa runs.

Diederich started the second game for Louisburg and gave up four earned runs in 5-plus innings and Kelsey Higginbotham came on to provide relief in the sixth inning.

“Brooklyn pitched great until she ran out of gas after pitching in both games,” Ozier said. “Kelsey Higginbotham did a nice job in relief. As we have all season, the girls have used each and every great play or mistake made to learn and advance forward with their game.”

Louisburg will play its final regular season game today when it hosts Spring Hill for a Senior Night doubleheader. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. at Lewis-Young Park.

 




Lady Cats snap losing streak with sweep of Anderson County

Louisburg junior Maddie Svoboda was greeted at home plate by her teammates Thursday following her second home run of the day against Anderson County. The Lady Cats picked up a pair of 16-1 and 11-6 victories.

 

For the Louisburg softball team, it was only a matter of time before things started to go its way.

That time was Thursday.

The Lady Cats plated 27 runs in their doubleheader against Anderson County at Lewis-Young Park and left with 16-1 and 11-6 victories. It was the first time Louisburg had found itself in the win column since early April and it was long overdue.

“With all the hard work the girls have put in this season, I was so excited to finally see them get a couple of wins,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “We have been so close in so many games. We have learned how to compete, but have just not been able to finish. So I was glad to see us get these two games.”

In the opener, the Lady Cats jumped on Anderson County from the start as they scored five runs in the first two innings. They added on six more in the third and five in the fourth to complete the run-rule win.

Maddie Svoboda hit her first of two home runs on the day, which was a 2-run shot in the bottom of the second inning. She finished the game with a home run, a double, 2 RBIs and scored four runs.

Karson Griggs recorded a team-high three hits and had 2 RBIs to help the Lady Cat offense. Molly Rison had two hits to go along with 5 RBIs, with three of those coming home on a 3-run double in the fourth inning to seal it.

Lauren Cutshaw had two hits that included a double and 2 RBIs and Kayla Willey also finished with two hits and 2 RBIs. Shayla Meyer added two hits and an RBI for the Lady Cats.

Bailey Kern recorded a run batted in as well on a sacrifice and Paige Eccher scored two runs.

“Throughout the season, we have had many opportunities to score, but have not been able to get timely hits,” Ozier said. “The girls put together some great at-bats against Anderson County and we were able to get those timely hits.”

Louisburg’s Lauren Cutshaw slides safely into home plate Thursday against Anderson County.

Louisburg (3-13) also got a good performance on the mound from freshman Brooklyn Diederich as she earned her first varsity win. Diederich pitched a complete game and gave up just one unearned run on three hits and struck out three.

The good pitching continued in the nightcap as Meyer picked up the win for Louisburg. Meyer allowed four earned runs over seven innings and struck out five batters.

“During both games, our pitchers were able to hit their spots,” Ozier said. “Neither of the girls are overpowering with their velocity, but their ability to mix pitches and hit locations was great.

“Hopefully these wins can boost our confidence, allow the girls to relax, and play the game that I know they are capable of.”

The hot bats continued for the Lady Cats in the second game as they hit two more home runs as both Svoboda and Meyer cleared the fence. Svoboda had a 2-run home run in the bottom of the third that tied the game and Meyer’s 2-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning broke open a tie game and gave Louisburg an 8-6 advantage.

Louisburg tacked on three more runs to help seal the sweep and Meyer was able to close the door in the final two innings.

Griggs once again led Louisburg with three hits, including a double and an RBI. Meyer and Svoboda each finished the game with two hits each and had 3 and 2 RBIs, respectively.

Reilly Ratliff-Becher added two hits, a double and an RBI, while Rison and Cutshaw ended the game with a pair of singles. Willey also had an RBI single and Alyse Moore scored three times for Louisburg.

The Lady Cats return to action today when they travel to Ottawa for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.

 

Louisburg loses close contest at De Soto

Louisburg was on the verge of stealing a game on the road from De Soto last Tuesday at the 3&2 Complex in Lenexa.

With the Lady Cats up two runs in the final inning, they weren’t able to hold on against De Soto in a 6-5 loss in the opener. De Soto used that momentum in the second game to compete the sweep of Louisburg with a 13-4 win in the nightcap.

The Lady Cats scored five runs in the third inning to jump out on top and De Soto scored three in the bottom of the fourth to cut into their lead. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, De Soto singled, reached on an error, tripled and singled again to complete the walk-off win.

Molly Rison and Maddie Svoboda each had a pair of hits to lead the Louisburg offense, while Rison added 2 RBIs to her line. Reilly Ratliff-Becher also had an RBI for the Lady Cats.

Sophomore Reilly Ratliff-Becher comes in to make a running catch last Tuesday against De Soto.

In the nightcap, Louisburg found itself down 6-4 in the sixth inning, before De Soto scored seven runs in the frame to pull away. The Lady Cats were also hurt by six errors in the field.

Lauren Cutshaw had three hits to lead Louisburg and Rison had 2 RBIs. Svoboda had a double, while Bailey Kern, Bailey Sarna, Alyse Moore and Ratliff-Becher also had hits for the Lady Cats.




Offensive outburst not enough for Lady Cats against Osawatomie

Louisburg junior Maddie Svoboda makes contact with a pitch on April 17 during the Lady Cats’ home opener against Baldwin. Louisburg hosted Osawatomie and Baldwin last week, but fell in both doubleheaders.

 

If there is such thing as bad luck, the Louisburg High School softball team is battling through a long string of it this season and it got even longer Thursday against Osawatomie.

Louisburg’s offense had one of its best performances of the season as it pounded out 30 runs against the Trojans, but the Lady Cats couldn’t hang on as they lost a pair of high-scoring affairs, 24-19 and 12-11, at Lewis-Young Park.

It was a frustrating ending to what looked like a promising start to the day for the Lady Cats, which saw their record drop to 1-11.

“This has been a season of great adversity for our girls,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “We have battled hard on the field with only one win to show for it.  On the plus side, we have actually grown closer as a team and remain committed to improve. I am seeing some older players that I would characterize as quiet leaders, start to come out of their comfort zone and assert themselves more.

“Our biggest obstacle right now is ourselves. At the latter stages of games, of which we have the lead, we become tense and are playing to not lose and are ‘hoping to win.’ We are working very hard on the mental side of the game, which we hope will translate into a philosophy of ‘expecting to win.’”

The Lady Cats had everything going their way to start the opener of the doubleheader. Louisburg jumped out to a 15-1 lead after three innings, but the Trojans started cutting into lead.

Osawatomie scored eight runs in the fourth, six runs in the fifth and seven in the sixth to take the lead for good to complete the wild comeback.

It was tough game defensively for both teams as they combined for 16 errors in the contest, but the offense for both tried to make up for it as they totaled 35 hits between the two.

Junior Molly Rison had a big game at the plate in both games, as she finished with three hits, that included a double and 5 RBIs. Lauren Cutshaw found a lot of success at the plate as she totaled a team-high five hits.

Junior Molly Rison had a big day Thursday against Osawatomie as she tallied 9 RBIs in the two losses.

Karson Griggs was another key fixture in the Lady Cat offensive barrage as she tallied three hits, including a solo home run in the fifth inning. Reilly Ratliff-Becher had 3 RBIs for Louisburg, while Kayla Willey, Shayla Meyer and Paige Eccher also drove in a pair of runs.

Junior Madison Svoboda also scored three runs and added an RBI to her total.

Louisburg suffered another rough blow in the nightcap as it took a 9-7 lead into the sixth inning before Osawatomie answered with four runs to go up by two. The Lady Cats answered with a pair of runs in the sixth to tie it before Osawatomie scored one in the seventh to seal the win again.

Rison continued her hot hitting as she led the Louisburg bats four hits, including a solo home run, two doubles and 4 RBIs, which gave her 9 RBIs for the doubleheader.

Cutshaw added three hits with a double, while Griggs and Ratliff-Becher both finished with two hits each and Ratliff-Becher also recorded double. Eccher added 2 RBIs in the loss and Alyse Moore also finished the game with a double.

The Lady Cats will try and get back on track today when they travel to De Soto at 3&2 Ballpark. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.

 

Lady Cats fall to Baldwin in doubleheader

After two weeks, the Louisburg softball team finally got its opportunity to play at home on April 17 when the Lady Cats hosted Baldwin.

Unfortunately, their home didn’t treat them well.

Baldwin got out to big leads early in both games and didn’t look back as it handed Louisburg a pair of 17-0 and 17-5 losses.

Louisburg actually took a 4-1 lead after two innings in the nightcap, but Baldwin used a 10-run third inning to pull away for the win.

Junior Molly Rison led the Louisburg offense in the second game with two singles, a double and an RBI, while junior Karson Griggs added a single and a double. Kelsey Higginbotham had a single and 2 RBIs. Shayla Meyer finished with two singles and drove in a run.




Wellsville hands Lady Cats a pair of losses in dramatic fashion

Louisburg’s Bailey Sarna slides safely into home plate Thursday during game one of the Lady Cats’ doubleheader with Wellsville. The Lady Cats lost both games, 11-10 and 6-5, in Wellsville.

 

WELLSVILLE – On two different occasions, in two separate games, the Louisburg High School softball team was just a handful of outs away from picking up a win.

Unfortunately for the Lady Cats, those final outs were hard to come by.

Wellsville put together rallies in both games of Thursday’s doubleheader with Louisburg in Wellsville to earn a sweep of the Lady Cats.

In the opener, the Eagles scored twice in the sixth inning for a come-from-behind 11-10 win and then rallied from three runs down in the seventh to take the nightcap over Louisburg, 6-5. The losses gave the Lady Cats a 1-7 record on the season.

“We had our hearts ripped out last Thursday, specifically in game two,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “Our record does not reflect the hard work and perseverance this group of young ladies have shown this season. In all but three of our games thus far, we have been right there with a chance to win until the last out was recorded. We continue to battle finishing games.”

Louisburg found a way to rally in game one, despite Wellsville scoring six runs in the bottom of the fifth to break a 3-all tie. The Lady Cats didn’t back down and put together a rally of their own with seven runs in the top of the sixth thanks to several key hits.

Sophomore Shayla Meyer drove home two on a double, while Madison Svoboda, Alyse Moore and Bailey Kern each had RBI singles. Paige Eccher scored on a wild pitch and Bailey Sarna slid safely into home after a groundout by Reilly Ratliff-Becher to give Louisburg a 10-9 lead.

Louisburg sophomore Reilly Ratliff-Becher makes contact with a pitch Thursday in Wellsville.

Wellsville answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to grab lead back and the Lady Cats couldn’t respond in the seventh.

Junior Molly Rison led the Louisburg offense with three hits, including a double and an RBI. Meyer and Lauren Cutshaw both finished with a single and a double, and Meyer had a team-high 3 RBIs. Moore also had a pair of singles for Louisburg.

Meyer started the game for Louisburg and gave up six earned runs and had to work around six Lady Cat errors.

In the nightcap, Louisburg was in prime position to earn a split as it took a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning thanks to its 11 hits and the Lady Cats also took advantage of four Wellsville errors.

Rison led the Lady Cat bats again with three hits, while Moore, Karson Griggs and Svoboda all added two hits. Moore led Louisburg with 2 RBIs, while Meyer, Rison and Svoboda all had RBI hits.

Wellsville came through in the bottom of the seventh with a walk, two singles and two doubles to rally for the one-run win.

Kelsey Higginbotham started for the Lady Cats and pitched six strong innings and gave up just three earned runs before running into trouble in the seventh. Meyer came in for relief but the Eagles put the ball in play to get the walkoff win.

Despite the Lady Cats’ recent skid, they know they have been in a lot of games so far this season and they hope their luck changes soon.

“We are starting to get a few players back from health issues, so that should give us more depth from this point on,” Ozier said. “We are going through some ‘growing pains’ with some players learning new positions or playing at the varsity level for the first time.”

Louisburg will look to try and end its losing skid Tuesday when it hosts Baldwin in its home opener. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. at Lewis-Young Park.




Eudora sweeps doubleheader from Lady Cats

Junior Molly Rison makes contact with a pitch Tuesday against Eudora in the first game of the doubleheader. Louisburg came up short in both games in a 10-0 and 4-3 loss.

 

EUDORA – It wasn’t the endings that the Louisburg softball team was looking for Tuesday when it traveled to Eudora.

After falling in a 10-0 loss to start the doubleheader, the Lady Cats jumped out to a 3-run lead in the nightcap, but they couldn’t hang on in a 4-3 loss to the Cardinals.

In the second game, Louisburg got a good start from junior pitcher Kelsey Higginbotham as she pitched a complete game and allowed two earned runs in six innings.

The Louisburg offense did the job behind her early on as it scored two runs in the second, and another in the third, to take a 3-0 lead on RBI singles from Shayla Meyer, Alyse Moore and Higginbotham.

Eudora whittled away at the lead with a run in the third and fourth innings, and eventually took the 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth.

Junior Molly Rison nearly tied the game for Louisburg in the top of seventh with a long drive to centerfield, but the ball died in the cold, windy conditions on the warning track. The Wildcats were unable to threaten after that.

“Game two was a much better performance,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “The girls turned in some outstanding plays on defense. It was a heartbreaker at the end of the game to have battled that hard and have no wins to show for it. This is a very resilient group and I anticipate some great things before this season ends.”

Louisburg’s Shayla Meyer makes a pitch Tuesday against Eudora.

Junior Karson Griggs led the Wildcat offense in the nightcap with three hits and Rison added a pair of singles as well. In all, Louisburg accounted for 11 hits and Lauren Cutshaw had the lone extra base hit with a double.

Louisburg (1-5) had a tough time getting much contact against Eudora pitcher Kyla Etter in game one. Etter struck out 10 Louisburg batters and gave up just one hit, which was a single to Meyer.

Meyer started the first game for the Lady Cats, but was hurt by five Louisburg errors in the 10-run loss. Meyer gave up just three earned runs on 11 hits.

“Overall, we were disappointed with our performance in game one,” Ozier said. “We had a number of miscues on defense, giving Eudora four or five outs in a couple of innings. They are a very good team, and took advantage of the opportunities. We faced one of the top pitchers in the league and put some runners on base. We continue to struggle with timely hitting.”

Louisburg will try and get back on the winning track tonight when it travels to Wellsville for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.