LAKIN — And just like that, Holcomb’s season is over.
After leading Goodland for five innings of the Longhorns' Class 3A regional semifinal in Lakin, the Longhorns saw the Cowgirls score four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning with just seven batters to move on to the title game, 6-3.
Trailing 3-2, Goodland started the sixth with a walk and a single. A fielder’s choice moved the runners to scoring position, and on a fly ball to center, an error allowed the tying run to score.
A fielder’s choice on the next hitter allowed the go-ahead run to score. Atalee Amthor drove in another on an infield hit.
Leadoff hitter Jessi Duell drove in the sixth run on a double to center, and in a matter of minutes, Goodland had the 6-3 lead. Then, Goodland starting pitcher Brooke Drennan induced three consecutive ground ball outs to end Holcomb’s season.
Holcomb starting pitcher Blair Holliday started strong, facing just one over the minimum in hitters through two innings.
Goodland sent seven batters to the plate in the third and scored two runs, but still, Holcomb held a 3-2 lead.
The ‘Horns scored a run in the first inning when Holliday singled to center to drive in Ryleigh McVey, who led off with a single.
They picked up two more runs in the top of the third. McVey singled with one out and Gracelyn Rupp followed with a double.
A sacrifice fly from Ezariah Rodriguez drove in one run and Holliday singled in another.
That would be it for Holcomb’s offense, though, as it went scoreless over the next four innings.
Holliday struck out three in the loss. Drennan struck out five in the win.
“I felt that we came out aggressively at the start and we were able to get some girls across the plate,” Holcomb coach Jennifer Barrett said. “Goodland came on stronger in the second half of the game, but I still felt we were hitting the ball hard, just right at them. They made some great defensive plays. That’s a credit to (the Cowgirls).”
Holliday pitched a great game, she added, and the defense was pretty solid behind her — it was just a couple of key errors that marred things.
“Blair pitched a great game. She did what we asked her to after pitching seven innings the night before (a come-from-behind win over Sublette),” Barrett said.
Holcomb was seeded seventh against the 13-5 Sublette Larks in the quarterfinals, and Barrett felt her team was definitely the underdog in that game.
“The way we played in that (Tuesday win), that’s how we came out today,” Barrett said. “I couldn’t have been prouder of our girls than that.”
Holcomb finishes the season 9-13.
Goodland advanced to play Colby in the region final Wednesday evening, but that game wasn't final at press time.
Colby 11, Lakin 1
The Lakin softball season came to end Wednesday on its home field as the Broncs fell, 11-1, in five innings to the top-seeded Colby Eagles in the Class 3A regional.
After taking a 1-0 lead after the first inning, the Eagles came up with four runs in the second and blew it open with six in the fourth to improve to 16-4.
Colby got a double in the second from Kamrie Miller with one out, then the Eagles took advantage of four errors to plate their four runs.
In the fourth, the Eagles led with four straight singles, chasing starting pitcher Makennah Hernandez.
After the first out and leading 8-1, Colby scored on a passed ball and and error.
The Eagles scored their final run on an RBI single from pitcher Kam Miller.
Lakin’s lone run came in the third. Vanessa Hernandez led off the inning with a singl,e and Claria Mendez drove her in on a fielder’s choice two batters later.
Hernandez struck out three batters, 10 fewer than her quarterfinal performance on Tuesday in Lakin’s 4-3 win in the quarterfinals.
The Broncs finish the season 11-11 after not fielding a team for regionals a year ago.