WICHITA, Kan. - For the first time since the 2016 5A state championship game, the Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds find themselves on the losing end of a softball game. That comes Bishop Carroll knocked off the T-Birds 5-3 Friday evening.
Shawnee Heights jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but the Golden Eagles got that run back the next inning due to the baserunning of Kendall Forbes. The freshman got on base on an infield single, advancing to second on a sac bunt. Then after stealing third, Forbes raced home on a passed ball for Carroll's first run of the day.
Then in the third the Golden Eagles offense came alive. With two on, Kaylin Watkins hit an RBI groundout to score a second run, giving Carroll a 2-1 lead. Then coach Steve Harshberger decided to make a change, pinch hitting another freshman, Kadance Brewster, in just Carrolls second time through the lineup. The move proved to be a difference maker. Brewster drove the Paige Petefish pitch to the left centerfield wall, scoring two more runs and giving the Golden Eagles a three run cushion.
While the offense was providing the runs, Reagan Smith was doing her part on the mound. Following the first inning run, Smith went three scoreless innings to keep the Carroll lead in tact.
But in the 5th, the Heights bats got going. With a runner on second, Abbey Fischer clubbed a double to the gap, cutting the lead to 4-2. Jaycee Ginter followed that up with a slow rolling infield single to score Fischer, making it a 4-3 game.
Carroll turned to Brewster on the mound, and with the bases loaded she got Sky Tyler to hit a grounder to the circle for a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat.
Then to leadoff the bottom half of the inning, Gabby Eck provided some insurance for the Golden Eagles. Eck drove a liner down the left field line, falling in just fair and out of reach of the diving Thunderbird left fielder, and Eck went for it all. The sophomore put the wheels on, sliding home for the inside-the-park home run, giving Carroll the 5-3 lead.
Brewster wouldn't falter from there, getting the game's final eight outs including a strikeout of Aniya Holt that sealed the win, ending the two-time defending champs 66 game win streak.
The win puts Bishop Carroll at 16-1 on the year, a revenge game of sorts after Heights blanked Carroll 11-0 in last year's state championship game.
Shawnee Heights would take game two, however, beating Carroll 10-1 to get their 17th win of the season.