SALINA — Mulvane was used to getting a run or two and handing over the rest of the game to pitcher Taylor Parsons. Parsons hadn't given up a run in 14 innings of the first two games at the Class 4A softball tournament, so it was a welcome sight to get a run in the top of the first inning.
But that on-top-of-the-world feeling didn't last long.
Basehor-Linwood answered with four runs in the bottom half of the inning and defeated Mulvane 5-2 in the championship game Saturday at Burke Park.
"We've been playing games in state and regionals that we just had to score one or two runs and that was it," Parsons said. "This is a good-enough team that we needed to be on our toes the whole game and we weren't, we relaxed."
Basehor-Linwood (24-2) got hits by three of the first four batters and led 1-0 with only one ball leaving the infield, but it looked like Parsons would get out of the inning. She got a forceout at home for the second out and got ahead of Tara Chumley 1-2 in the count.
Chumley battled back and her double cleared the bases for a 4-1 lead.
"We should have been out of the inning," Mulvane coach Charles Mason said. "Instead of reacting, we stood around and they are too good for that. They hit up and down the lineup."
In the fifth, Mulvane put its last rally together. Stephanie Wilson singled in a run with one out and Mulvane (22-4), although it trailed 5-2, got some momentum. But Kelsey Miller struck out on four pitches and Basehor-Linwood's Olivia Cowan charged, dove and caught Madison Bish's line drive in right field to end the threat.
"Anytime you can come up with a defensive stop like that with two outs, it's huge," Basehor-Linwood coach Susan Mayberry said. "If she misses it, they will score two runs and the momentum swings the other way. That catch left the momentum back in our dugout."
As Parsons and Mason hugged after the loss, a lot was taken from Mulvane's first championship game appearance, but what was left behind may have been more.
"We had eight seniors and we have to replace them... I don't know how we are going to do that," Mason said. "You can't say enough about what we did this year."
Paola 4, Buhler 0 — Paola scored three runs, two unearned, in the first inning and cruised the rest of the way to win the third-place game.
A dropped fly ball in right field led to the last two runs, but they didn't matter. Mallorie Nelson held Buhler (16-10) to three hits.
But fourth place for Buhler is a long way from the one-win team from three years ago.
"Today wasn't our day, everybody has their day and today wasn't ours," Buhler coach Steve Patterson said. "We talked about starting a tradition. Making people think Buhler High School does have a softball program. The five seniors that I lose recognize what they started."
Basehor-Linwood 5, Mulvane 2
Mulvane (22-4) 100 001 0 — 2 5 1 Basehor-Linwood (24-2) 400 100 x — 5 8 0
Paola 4, Buhler 0
Buhler (16-10) 000 000 0 — 0 3 2 Paola (23-3) 300 001 x — 4 5 1
Mulvane 2, Buhler 0
Buhler000 000 0 — 0 4 1 Mulvane000 200 x — 2 4 1
Basehor-Linwood 6, Paola 4
Paola110 110 0 — 4 9 2 Basehor-Linwood200 400 x — 6 5 2