Varsity Kansas

Kern's shutout advances Maize to 6A softball semifinals

LAWRENCE — Maize made all the fundamental plays that push a team to the state tournament's next round.

So it was only fitting that Maize's players stuck to a similarly subtle and easy-going theme after dispatching Garden City 8-0 Friday in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A softball tournament.

"We always do well defensively, but today we could have been better offensively," Maize pitcher Katlyn Kern said. "We did all right. That's good with me."

After scoring the game's opening run in the first inning, Maize strung together four hits, including back-to-back doubles by Abby Furstenberg and Kirsten James, in the third inning.

Maize (20-3) totaled three runs in the inning.

In the seventh, the Eagles sealed the game when Kenzie Jay ripped a sharp single down the third-base line, driving in two runs. Maize tacked on four runs in the seventh.

"We've been talking all season long about when you have runners in scoring position, you have to get the job done," Maize coach Jenny Meirowsky said. "And they did just that."

Kern pitched five innings and allowed one hit. She retired the side in the first three innings and allowed two baserunners.

Kern and her replacement, Lindsey Vitale, were aided by an 11-hit outburst that took advantage of walks, hit batters and runners in scoring position.

"That's what you have to do here at state," Meirowsky said.

Maize (20-3) 103 000 4 — 8 11 1 Garden City (19-3) 000 000 0 — 0 2 1

W—Kern. L—Ford.

Olathe South 6, Wichita Northwest 1 — For six innings, Northwest pitcher McKinsey Millspaugh rarely struggled, striking out 14 batters and holding Olathe South's offense scoreless.

But after giving up a leadoff double in the seventh inning, Millspaugh and the rest of the Grizzlies couldn't corral the ball, and they couldn't keep runners off the bases.

The Grizzlies allowed six runs, walked two batters, surrendered three hits and committed three errors in the seventh inning.

Millspaugh finished with 16 strikeouts.

"It just started falling apart," Northwest coach Merri Copeland said. "We've been talking about this all year, hoping that they could hold it together. It just didn't happen."

After Cassidy Harbert singled to drive in Emily Henning, the Grizzlies (21-2) failed to get another hit in the final five innings.

"The frustrating thing was we weren't hitting today, either," Copeland said. "You can't win ballgames like that."

Olathe South (19-4) 000 000 6 — 6 7 1 Wichita Northwest (21-2) 010 000 0 — 1 2 3

W—Barrett. L—Millspaugh.

SM North 3, O. Northwest 2

SM North (18-5) 000 003 0 — 3 6 1 Olathe Northwest (21-2) 002 000 0 — 2 9 2

W—Specht. L—Ramos.

Washburn Rural 5, O. North 3

Olathe North (11-12) 201 000 0 — 3 4 0 Washburn Rural (23-0) 121 001 x — 5 10 3

W—Holmberg. L—O'Conner.