MHS loses to state champion Bulldogs

Third baseman Reann Hamm prepares to make the throw to first during Game 2 against Chase County Tuesday. Marion lost both games of the doubleheader to the three-time defending state champion Bulldogs. Janae Rempel / Free Press

The Marion softball team faced a challenge in its season-opener against Chase County at home Tuesday.

The Bulldogs, who have not lost a game since April 2012, came into the contest riding a 71-game winning streak, including three consecutive Class 2-1A state champion titles, and were just one game short of tying the Kansas state record for consecutive wins set by Sacred Heart at 72 from 2005-08.

Chase County tied the state record with a 16-1 run-rule victory in Game 1.

The Bulldogs took control from the start, plating seven runs in the first inning.

Marion responded with its only run of the game in the bottom half of the inning, thanks to a lead-off triple by Shelby Felvus and an RBI single by Shayla Kline that brought her home.

After that, Marion could not get much going offensively. Sheridyn Arterburn hit a fourth-inning single, and Felvus added a single in the fifth. But Chase County, meanwhile, had added a run in the second inning, and three more in the fourth to lead, 11-1, heading into the fifth inning. The Bulldogs polished the win with five runs in the fifth inning.

Chase County then set the new state record for consecutive wins at 73 with a no-hitter, 12-0 win in five innings in Game 2. Marion trailed just 1-0 through three innings?Warrior pitcher Shelby Felvus retired the first three batters she faced in both the second and third innings?but Chase County plated five runs in the fourth inning and six in the fifth to solidify the win.

Coach Jennifer Felvus said despite the losses, facing a team like Chase County to open the season was a positive learning experience for the Warriors that will help them moving forward.

?We had several innings that we played very well,? Felvus said. ?Those we didn?t, I have to be realistic that for?several girls this was their first time out in those positions, and you?re bound to find your list of things to work on during your opener.

?Playing a team of that caliber exposes those things quite boldly, and truthfully, that?s a positive, because I?d rather know right now and work to fix them before we are in the heart of the season.?

Coming?Marion (0-2) was scheduled to host Sedgwick Tuesday and will host Bennington Friday.

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