Good Luck

August 23rd, 2019

milly tags out runnerMilly McClure tags out Wichita North’s Leslie Retana in a first round Class 6A playoff game in Topeka Wednesday. The Lady Redskins fell behind 4-0 in the first two innings and a late rally fell short in a 4-2 loss. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

  • • Leader & Times

TOPEKA — After falling behind 4-0 in the first two innings, the Liberal Lady Redskins never allowed another run, but too many outs on the bases led to a 4-2 Class 6A playoff loss to Wichita North.

Wichita North dominated the first two innings, taking advantage of walks and errors to get runners on base, and then getting two key hits to score runs.

The Lady Redskins put runners on base but could not get them across the plate with a key hit with runners in scoring position, and the Lady Redskins couldn’t cut into the lead until the fifth inning when Liberal finally pushed a run across the plate to cut the lead to 4-1.

The Lady Redskin had a chance for a big inning in the sixth after loading the bases with no outs.

A ground ball was fielded and thrown home, and on a close play Amya Blake was called out at home on a force.

A walk forced Reagan Watt across the plate to cut the lead to 4-2, but Kaeleah Chaloupek was picked off third, and after a walk reloaded the bases with tow outs, Wichita North was able to record the final out of the inning without giving up a run.

Chaloupek pitched the first four innings for the Lady Redskins, and after the four runs in the first two innings, she was able to toss two scoreless innings.

Meaghan McClure relieved Chaloupek in the Fifth and tossed two scoreless innings to keep the game within reach.

Milly McClure drew a two-out walk in the seventh, and after stealing second and third, the Redskins had the tying run at the plate, but Meaghan McClure went down swinging, and the Lady Redskins fell 4-2.

The toughest part of the loss might have been the five outs on the bases, with two runners thrown out at second and three runners called out at third.

“We came out cold,” Liberal coach Tommy McClure said. “We tried to fix that all season long. If we would have started hot like we were at the end, our heads wouldn’t have gotten down so early. We have to fix that in the offseason.”

And the base-running outs were also disappointing.

“A couple of those are heads-up plays,” McClure said. “We talked about being smart. We have to get more reps in, and they won’t make those types of errors. Sometimes I was a little aggressive, too. I tried to do a double steal. North was making some mistakes, but they picked off one of those. Coaches make mistakes, too.”

After making the move from Hugoton to Liberal, McClure said his first season showed him some differences.

“The level of competition,” he said. “With the WAC, you have tough teams, good pitchers, even north here. That is different. That will make us a tougher team.”

Liberal ended 12-9, the first winning season in modern history.

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