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Landes helps lead Lafayette Jeff softball past McCutcheon
April 13, 2014Lafayette Jefferson High School
Lafayette Jeff sophomore Kristin Landes limited McCutcheon to two runs over five innings and added a three-run double to help the Bronchos to a 5-4 season-opening home win over its crosstown rival Wednesday evening.
Landes gave up five hits over five innings in her first varsity start, but it was her bases-clearing double in the third inning that gave Lafayette Jeff a lead it never relinquished.
“I think it was a fastball, but it came through at the right time,” Landes said of the pitch she got from McCutcheon starter Allison Lawson. “I was just in my zone trying to get a hit for the team with runners on base, and it went through.”
The ball nearly went to the wall in left-center field, scoring Bailey Ladd, Zoee Anderson and Meagan Rusk to give the Bronchos a 3-0 lead.
Lawson only surrendered four hits to the Bronchos but issued seven walks over six innings, giving Lafayette plenty of base runners. Anderson and Rusk both reached on walks with one out to set up Landes’ hit.
“She had a trouble hitting her pitches and we walked way too many people,” said veteran McCutcheon coach Jim Bates. “If we wouldn’t have had all of those walks, they wouldn’t have scored all those runs. Defensively, we’re a pretty good team, but I’m not happy with our hitting and pitching so far.”
The Mavericks still threatened to overtake the Bronchos in the final two innings. Trailing 5-2, McCutcheon’s Kallie Summers reached on an error, Mariah Merryman singled and Isabella Kokocinski walked to load the bases with one out against reliever Tori Crouch in the sixth inning.
Zoie Sexton threw out Summers at home on a Baylee Berryman grounder, but her error on Kerstyn Lowery’s short fly allowed Merryman and Kokocinski to score, cutting Lafayette Jeff’s lead to one run.
The Mavericks’ Amber Antczak opened the seventh inning with a double to the left-field fence. Crouch then dropped a Caroline O’Donnell infield fly when she bumped into first baseman Rusk, but Rusk picked up the ball and fired to third baseman Jordan Richards to throw out Antczak trying to advance.
After a Summers single, Rusk finished two unassisted outs on grounders to first by Hannah Caritrers and Merryman to end the game, leaving runners at second and third.
“For us, it’s just a confidence thing,” said Lafayette Jeff coach Lamar Simmons. “The team believes, but sometimes you’ve got to get that victory to understand that you can do this. It was good for us to overcome mistakes and still win. This will help us in the long run.”
Simmons said he didn’t mind taking Landes out after the fifth inning, especially after she gave up three hits in that stanza.
“She did an excellent job in her first varsity game, but I thought she was getting tired and it’s still early in the season,” Simmons said. “We’re going to be using two pitchers this season and it was good to have them both throw, get ready and gain some confidence.”