ROSE HILL — While it has been nearly a year since Mulvane's 1-0 loss in 17 innings to Rose Hill in the Class 4A regional semifinals, the memory hasn't dissipated for Mulvane. Not only was that loss painful, the Wildcats' season ended and Rose Hill finished third in 4A.
"That left a bad taste in our mouth," Mulvane catcher Stephanie Wilson said.
The loss ate at Mulvane pitcher Taylor Parsons, who felt it was her fault. She spent the past 10 months thinking about that loss; it's what drove her during offseason workouts.
Thursday night, with the memory of that game in mind, Parsons pitched Mulvane to a 1-0, 4-2 sweep at Rose Hill. It was the first time Mulvane had beaten Rose Hill since 2007.
"We all wanted that game like no other," said Parsons, who had a combined 15 strikeouts without allowing a walk. "We all were practicing hard since the season started for this game. It's such a relief that we all came together, all wanted it and just played lights out."
There was a little extra emotion added to the game with the release of the regional softball assignments — these teams could meet in the playoffs because Mulvane (4-0) and Rose Hill (2-2) are in the same regional, along with Clearwater and Augusta.
"This is my 19th year, and we've battled Rose Hill for 19 years," Mulvane coach Charlie Mason said. "Memorable games. We've had those 17, 18 innings before. They're good."
In the opener, Mulvane's Kellyn Holt reached first with one out when Rose Hill pitcher Keelyn Bonar hit her with a pitch. Holt later scored the game's only run when the ball got past catcher Molly Baker.
"A hit batter? Yep, that's what it came down to," Bonar said. "It's pretty frustrating. I've worked so hard, and it comes down to that. It's really frustrating. I feel like I let my team down. I kind of forgot about it, then after the game was over, I started replaying it back. You know... we could have had it right there."
Bonar had 10 strikeouts and one walk. She relieved Tori Beltz in the fifth inning of Game 2 and didn't allow a hit.
In the second game, Mulvane scored three runs in the third, getting a two-out triple by Taylor Hatfield. Taylor Bell had an RBI double, while Parsons had an RBI triple. Bell added another RBI double in the fifth, hitting in Holt, who had reached on a two-out double.
Rose Hill scored two in the fifth inning, but only had one baserunner in the final two innings.
"We're very disappointed," Rose Hill coach Kathy Santo said of the sweep. "We didn't hit the ball very well, compared to what we know we're capable of. I feel that Taylor (Parsons) pitched very, very well. She did some very, very good things."
Mulvane 1, Rose Hill 0
Mulvane100 000 0 — 1 2 1 Home000 000 0 — 0 3 1
Mulvane 4, Rose Hill 2
Mulvane003 010 0 — 4 7 2 Rose Hill000 020 0 — 2 4 3