By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — Just when they thought it was safe to come out and play, Mother Nature had other plans.
After the temperature had dropped 20 degrees from the scheduled 4 p.m. start, officials and coaches decided one softball game was enough.
Fortunately for Holcomb, the Lady Longhorns were on the winning side of a 8-5 non-league make-up game from three weeks ago against Spearville.
In a spring where games have been hard to get played, Holcomb was happy to come out with its sixth straight win.
Holcomb scored all its runs early.
Madi Taylor and Haley Becker drove in runs in the first inning.
Taylor Deniston knocked in the third run on a fielder's choice in the second, while Abril Santoya drove in the fourth run in the third on the Longhorns' third straight single after one out.
Even so, Holcomb was only up 4-3 going into its half of the fourth inning, but that's when the bats really came alive.
Deniston led off with a home run over the center field fence. Taylor singled and Becker singled, just ahead of Haley Walck's two-run double. Two batters later, Santoya drove in Walck.
That would be all the scoring the Longhorns needed, and then the defense, which had played well all game, shined.
After the Lancers scored twice in the sixth, and with a leadoff out to start the seventh, Spearville's Lindsey Heskamp turned a two-strike at bat into a walk. Then she attempted a steal, but Becker was up and throwing.
Heskamp was out on the slide, Kenzie Roth struck out the final batter, and Holcomb had the win.
Roth struck out five and walked just two in the win.
Though out-hit 9-7, Holcomb coach Jennifer Barrett liked what she saw Monday under adverse conditions.
"This is tough," she said. "Credit to both pitchers in this weather for just trying to grip the ball."
Her Longhorns were patient at the plate, too, she added, and, with the temperature falling and wind increasing, that was quite an achievement.
"We had some timely hits. We were just smart at the plate," Barrett said. "We had some key walks where the girls were patient."
Defensively, Barrett appreciated her girls' efforts. Taylor made two outfield grabs on hard-hit balls, Santoya turned a double play from right field to first base, and Deniston made a number of plays from shortstop with the wind blowing directly at her.
A key defensive play was the throw out in the seventh.
"That's huge. One, it prevents them from getting into scoring position. And two, it's a momentum changer. You get somebody on and your catcher throws them out and you go to nobody on, that's huge for your team," Barrett said.
This was the first win over Spearville for Holcomb in the three years they've played.
The Longhorns are scheduled to play at Ulysses today, weather permitting. Then they host league foe Goodland on Thursday.
Holcomb 8, Spearville 5
Spearville 011 102 0 -- 5 9 2
Holcomb 211 400 x -- 8 7 1
WP: K. Roth. 2B: Holcomb 1 (Walck), Spearville 1 (Snyder). 3B: Spearville 1 (Offerle). HR: Holcomb (Deniston).