Warrior girls earn split of pair with Nickerson

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Marion-Florence/Peabody-Burns softball team had its games at Hoisington rained out Friday and rescheduled for April 25.

On the previous Tuesday, the Warriors split a doubleheader at home against Nickerson, winning the opener 2-1 but losing the second game 13-3.

In the opener, pitcher Sonya Steinborn allowing only one hit-a second-inning single.

“We knew Sonya would be this strong,” Warrior coach Charlotte Waner said. “When we put her in the first game, she did awesome and I have no worries about Sonya whatsoever.”

Nickerson scored its run in the second inning when, with one out, Steinborn struck out the Panther hitter but catcher Lanna Carroll had trouble fielding the ball and the runner was safe at first. Nickerson’s next hitter singled to drive home the run.

But the lead didn’t last long. In the bottom of the second, Erica Geis led off with a single and stole second base before Carroll atoned for her error by driving Geis home with a base hit.

In the bottom of the fourth, Kara Holt reached on an error with one out and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Morgan Cady for the go-ahead run.

That was all the cushion Steinborn needed. She faced only 26 hitters in the contest, allowed one unearned run on one hit, walked one and struck out five to pick up her second win of the season.

The Warriors managed only four hits themselves-singles by with Carroll, Geis, Kari Tajchman and Allie Maddox.

But Game 2, like last week with Haven, proved to be less fun for the Warriors.

“Somehow we’ve got to overcome the first to second game mental lapse,” Waner said. “We’ve had a lot on our plate this week with Casey (Nelson’s injury) and I was just tickled we won one game. The girls came out and fought very hard and I was very proud of them for that.”

Pitcher Valerie Hett lasted four innings. She faced 28 batters and allowed nine runs and six walks but only four hits.

“Valerie did a very good job actually,” Waner said. “She looks a lot better than she did last year.”

Steinborn pitched the final two innings.

After Nickerson scored four runs in the first inning, the Warriors answered with a single run in the home half of the inning when Kristin Waner walked and scored on a Maddox double.

Nickerson pushed its advantage to 7-1 in the second inning and 9-1 after three.

The Warriors scratched out a pair of runs in the fourth inning when Maddox led off with her second double of the game and scored when Nickerson booted a ball off the bat of Geis, who later scored on a fielder’s choice.

But Nickerson added two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to seal the victory and send the Warriors packing with a record of 2-2 overall and in the MCAA.

The Panthers scored 13 runs on seven hits and the help of seven Warrior errors. Marion scored three runs on six hits and four Nickerson errors.

“In practice we do awesome on defense,” Waner said. “Offensively, we’re hitting the ball well, we’re just always hitting it right at somebody.

“But I think we’re making great progress.”

Coming-The Warriors head west to face cross-county rival Hillsboro on Tuesday before taking Friday off.

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