Holcomb, Lakin split twin bill
By KEVIN THOMPSON
By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — With Wednesday's seeding deadline in mind, Holcomb's softball team needed to get a win.
Make that two wins.
Visiting Lakin was already seeded second at 13-3 no matter what happened Monday against Holcomb, but for the 12-6 Lady Longhorns, who were tied with Southwestern Heights, who don't play until after Wednesday's seedings are made, it was win both or lose a seed.
After winning the first game in walk-off fashion 5-4, Holcomb was sitting in its precarious seat, but things didn't fall their way in the second game, as the Broncs run-ruled them, 20-7.
Now at 13-7, Holcomb falls to the fourth seed at 65 percent in wins, while the idle Lady Mustangs sit at 67 percent, and whose two games Thursday do not affect seeding, win or lose.
A tough loss for Holcomb, coach Jennifer Barrett said following Monday's second game played in more March-like conditions than mid-May.
"It was a game we needed, and with the weather...just all of it's frustrating," Barrett said.
Holcomb led the second game 6-2 after the first inning, pounding out six hits, and they looked poised for the sweep. But Lakin's bats came alive as they scored five in the second and seven in the fifth to blow the game open.
Jordan Crum hit a based-loaded single to drive in two runs in the second inning, but shortstop Kayla Swank hit a pair of three-run homers to deliver the knockout blows late.
Lakin clubbed 18 hits, including five for extra bases, and the Longhorns committed four errors.
"We've been hitting the ball well all year," Lakin coach Shawn Michaelis said. "Starting game two, it was good to get a couple in the first (inning)."
Both coaches saw a much different story from game one.
On senior night, Holcomb had to feel good coming off the first game.
Haley Becker was the hero of that game, hitting a single past third base with two outs to drive in the tying and winning runs.
Abril Santoyo led off with a walk and two batters later, Taylor Deniston beat out a single.
Both runners advanced on a double steal that set up the game-winning hit just past third base.
Deniston had hit a two-run homer over the left field fence in the first inning.
But Lakin, after stranding three in the first, picked up two runs in the third to tie the game.
Mariah Watkins' single plated one run, and Paige Kirby scored on an error.
After Holcomb scored once in the fourth, the Broncs regained a 4-3 lead on Jhoryn Hernandez's two-run single, before Becker's game-winner.
Pitcher Kenzie Roth went the distance, striking out seven and walking three. In game two, she struck out three and walked four.
Karlee Davidson went the distance in both games, striking out three and walking one on the night.
"The girls fought hard," Barrett said. "We got key hits when we need them. People got on base when we needed to have runners. The girls played well defensively."
Things just didn't go as well in the second game, she said. But it's about competing the way they did in the first game.
"We've been hitting the ball well and extremely hard the last several games," she said.
Lakin coach Shawn Michaelis was more looking for his team to continue to play well heading into the postseason.
After going 10-0 to win the Hi-Plains League title for the second straight year, he said, it's all about playing single elimination with no chance for redemption.
"The main thing is, we don't get second chances next week," he said. "We've got to be ready to go right from the start."
The Broncs have three hitters batting over .400 (Swank .444, and Watkins and Crum at .404).
As a team, they're hitting .381 and have 47 stolen bases.
Davidson is 7-3 and Hernandez is 7-1 with a combined 3.87 ERA, giving Lakin a strong pitching duo.
"We have to play well next week to move on. The thing is, we have the team that is capable of it," Michaelis said.
Barrett chose to focus on the positive, the way her team played in the first game to get the tough win.
Holcomb will enter Monday's sub-state at Cheney with a number of weapons.
Deniston came into Monday's games with a .724 average (42 hits in 58 at bats), and she, Becker and Taylor had combined for 103 RBIs.
Lakin 002 002 0 -- 4 7 1
Holcomb 200 100 2 -- 5 9 2
Davidson and Reed. Roth and Becker. W--Roth; L--Davidson. 2B--Holcomb (Taylor). HR--Holcomb (Deniston).
Lakin 253 73 -- 20 18 1
Holcomb 600 10 -- 7 9 4
Davidson and Reed. Roth and Becker. W--Davidson; L--Roth. 2B--Lakin (Reed, Crum), Holcomb (Deniston). 3B--Lakin (Davidson). HR--Lakin (Swank 2).