Varsity Kansas

Maize players cope with life on the road

Maize softball coach Jenny Meirowsky knew that this season of travel was coming. After the Eagles hosted most of their doubleheaders last season, they only have three at home this year.

"We're out and about this year," Meirowsky said. "The nice thing is this year we go to Two Rivers (Youth Club), we go to Campus. So some away games aren't too awfully far. But we have to go to Salina twice and Dodge City once."

And really, the travel isn't that disruptive to a team full of athletes used to traveling for summer softball.

"We use that to our advantage," Meirowsky said. "Of course, they like to play at home, they like that home-field advantage, like to have the fans at home and they're more likely to get students to come to the games."

The travel hasn't hurt Maize at the plate.

Through the Eagles' first six games they had seven home runs.

"I've got a great lineup right now," Meirowsky said. "How often does that happen — your first lineup and it just clicks."

Two of Maize's top three hitters are batting in the Nos. 8 and 9 spots.

Dommi O'Nelio, the nine-hole hitter, is hitting a team-leading .625. Laura Seemann, hitting eighth, is at .526. Leadoff hitter Katlyn Kern is hitting .542.

"I feel that (O'Nelio and Seemann) are comfortable there," Meirowsky said. "I often think the opposing pitcher feels, 'it's the eight- and nine-hole, I don't have to focus as hard.' But all my girls are seeing the ball, and they're both fast, and I like to have fast people on."

Hit for a Cure — On Monday night, the Andover Central softball team will be wearing pink and the baseball team will have pink shirts under their uniforms.

All in the name of helping others out.

The softball and baseball teams are raising money for the Kyrie Foundation, which raises funds for pediatric brain cancer research. A portion of the money raised will also go to help offset medical expenses for Kyle Taylor, a Jaguars assistant boys basketball coach, who had a tumor removed from his head last month.

"It's been fun getting my kids involved in it," coach Rita Frakes said. "They're going to walk with me in the March of Dimes walk. They met a little boy named Chance, so they're walking for Team Chance."

In 2009 the softball team raised $2,800.

Moving forward — Andover Central senior Heather Borg was the Game 2 pitcher for the Jaguars last year, behind Nikki Armagost.

Borg has settled in nicely into that No. 1 spot.

"She's hitting the ball well and she has pitched phenomenally, especially against Andale," Frakes said.

Andover Central also has freshman Lacey Bolin. Both Borg and Bolin have thrown complete games in every start.

"Lacey has a good presence as a freshman," Frakes said. "I'm positive about her addition."

The Jaguars have two losses, splitting with Buhler and Andale.