DERBY — When Derby's softball doubleheader with Goddard was delayed Tuesday night by lightning, Derby coach Christy Weve was prepared to wait out the delay. She did not want to have the game called, even though her team trailed by six runs in the top of the fifth of Game 2.
"I don't ever count my team out," Weve said during the delay. "We've been down so many times and come back."
Derby nearly did just that, scoring seven unanswered before losing to the Lions 9-7. Goddard (17-1) won the first game 4-3.
"We're pretty good at comebacks," said Weve, whose team is 13-5. "... We keep chipping away. I don't know how many times this year that's happened. We can't let them get such a lead, and we have to score from the beginning."
Goddard scored nine runs in the first three innings, five in the first when Jessica Sturm, Cori O'Donoghue, Kelsey Harris and Lauren McKeown had RBIs. Mikayla Medberg had a three-run triple in the third to give Goddard the 9-0 lead.
"We can hit all through the lineup," Medberg said.
Derby answered in the bottom of the third with three runs, including two on a Goddard error and one on Hayley Hume's RBI single. The Panthers added three more runs in the fifth, getting an RBI triple from Tori Miller and another RBI single from Hume.
Derby added a run in the sixth on Austen Hilt's RBI single, but in the seventh Sturm shut down the Panthers.
Sturm, who won Game 1 and had entered Game 2 with two outs in the fifth, struck out five in 2 1/3 innings. She struck out two in the seventh, leaving Miller stranded on third.
Sturm had faced such a situation in the first game when Derby, trailing by one, got a triple from Kennedy Long. Sturm ended the game by getting Avery Beard to ground out back to her.
"I've been under pressure before," Sturm said. "It's not that difficult.... You don't even picture the runner on third. You're thinking about the batter the whole time."
"That's pressure situations," Goddard coach Rita Smith said. "It was a good test. They just have to fight through it."
Goddard's sweep was important because it keeps alive the chance to be a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in regionals next week. Regional pairings will be announced on Saturday. Maize is undefeated but plays Northwest and Dodge City on Friday.
The losses hurt Derby, which had been in line for a No. 3 seed and the chance to play host to a regional.
"We needed those wins," Weve said.
Goddard120 010 0 — 4 12 0 Derby101 010 0 — 3 8 3
W— Sturm. L— Oldham.
Goddard504 000 0 — 9 13 6 Derby003 031 0 — 7 9 2