Goddard outlasts Andover to reach state softball tourney

Published: May. 20, 2021 at 11:29 AM CDT
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ANDOVER, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - In a game that was defined by stellar pitching from two of the best in the classification, Goddard needed 10 innings to outlast host Andover and reach the 5A state softball tournament Wednesday night by a 3-1 score.

The Lions’ Kendal LeGrand and Andover’s Tess Eubank went blow for blow until the top of the 10th inning, when Emma Johnson became the first base runner of extra innings on a leadoff double. After advancing to third on a groundout, Laci Dryden came through in the clutch for the Lions, smoking her second triple of the game into the left field corner to score Johnson and put Goddard up 2-1. That was good for Dryden’s fourth hit of the game, half of her team’s total against Eubank.

The next batter, Natalie Klenda-Lopez, provided some insurance on a bunt down the first base line, her second RBI of the day after accounting for the first run on a sac fly that also brought home Dryden.

But Andover wouldn’t go down quietly. The bottom half of the 10th saw the biggest threat from the Trojans since the scoring their lone run in the third inning. Bailey Way started the rally with a one out single, her fourth hit of the game, then Alyssa Evans reached on a bunt single. The two combined for 7 of the team’s 10 hits on the day.

After getting a second out, the Lions elected to intentionally walk Kylie Forney to load the bases. Forney in the semifinal contest hit a clutch two run home run to secure the win over Salina Central, and earlier in the game hit a bloop single to bring in Way to tie things at 1.

And the move paid off for Goddard. The next batter, Haley Ziser, went down swinging and LeGrand’s 18th strikeout of the game sent the Lions to state 3-1 winners.

The two pitchers each went 10 innings, both hitting the 150 pitch mark. LeGrand walked just two batters versus the 18 K’s, while Eubank finished with 11 strikeouts and just 1 walk issued.

The Lions move on to the 5A state tournament to be played at Wichita State’s Wilkins Stadium on May 27th and 28th, with first round opponents to be determined.

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