Cheney softball defeats Silver Lake to win first-ever 3A state title
MANHATTAN – Riding gutty pitching by junior Korri Lies, the Cheney Softball Team won its very first state championship. The Cardinals beat Eternal Power Silver Lake 1-0 in a dramatic final in Manhattan on Friday.
Unable to muster an attack and trailing through a run to the top of the seventh inning, Silver Lake senior Reagan Money went from first to third on a sharp Ellington Hogle liner. As she slipped into the base, Money shot a throw from the outfield, which sailed wildly past the third baseman.
Silver got to his feet and, knowing how desperate Silver Lake was for a shot on goal, he rushed home. Cheney third baseman Kylee Scheer continued the errant pitch and accurately threw to the receiver to stop Money at home plate.
“When you don’t score the whole game, you’re going to take that chance,” Cheney coach Matt Johnson said. “It’s going to take a perfect shot. This is going to take a perfect catch and a tag. You try your luck. And in a 1-0 game, I would have done the same.
The Eagles had seven hits, but were never able to stage a rally against the Lies. So when Money saw her chance, she took it.
“I trust my daughters to make the judgment, and (Money) made a judgment on that,” said Silver Lake coach Nick Hamilton. “When you play high-risk games, you win, you lose.”
The only run of the match came on a six-innings homerun by a surprising source, Jailyn Adolph of Cheney. The rookie hadn’t hit a ball over the fence all season.
“I think she was more amazed than any of us,” Johnson said. “She had a pitch that she put the bat to, and what a great time for her.”
Lies dominated the entire tournament. She pitched each inning of the three games in just over 24 hours. She gave up just seven points in the tournament, knocking out 31 batters.
“We have a phenomenal pitcher,” Johnson said. “She was really tested today. She never had to throw a double title. For her, going out and pitching two good games against two very good teams was a very big effort on her part.
“After the semi-final game I was tired,” Lies said. “During the last game, I was out of breath after each set. But you just have to keep going for your team. The coach told me to tell him when I was ready to go out. But I can’t give up like this.
The Lies faced many tense situations on Friday, but gave Hoisington just two points in the semifinals.
“It’s scary when you have one out, runner third, runner second,” Lies said. “You have to hold on, put the pitches in the right places. You know your teammates will support you, and I know they will. ”
Johnson spearheaded the addition of softball to Cheney’s sports over ten years ago. Friday’s championship was long in coming.
“They’re kidding me about the monkey on my back,” Johnson said. “This is my fifth year to come to state, and we’ve never won a game. This year we have won them all. I can’t tell you how memorable it is for me. It is the greatest highlight of my coaching career.
Cheney finished the season with a 25-1 record. Silver Lake closed the campaign 22-4. The Eagles coach saw no reason to bow his head over the way things turned out.
“It was just a good game all around,” said Hamilton. “It was a question of which team had made the only move. I told our daughters that there were probably things we could have done a little better. But to change that result, it was just a bit of luck.
Haven returns in six innings to steal the State’s third-place game against Hoisington
A rocking battle for third place was won on a huge comeback from Haven.
Trailing 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Haven got a home run from star pitcher / third baseman Maguire Estill to gain momentum. Then with two outs, Haven had five consecutive hits around a step to end the set with six runs and an 8-7 advantage.
The thrilling consolation game saw a total of 15 points, 18 hits and three walks.
Brooklyn Brawner struck out five goals and claimed the win for Haven. The Wildcats finished the season 23-3, their loss to the state coming to Silver Lake 7-3.
Hoisington lost both games on Friday, losing to eventual champion Cheney 4-2 in the semifinals.
CHENEY 1, LAC D’ARGENT 0
Silver Lake (22-4) 000 000 0— 0 7 0
Cheney (25-1) 000 001 x – 1 9 0
Wende and Horton. Lies and Lorenz. W – Lies. L – Wende. 2B – Silver Lake: Hogle. HR – Cheney: Adolph.
HAVEN 8, HOISINGTON 7
Hoisington (20-6) 040 003 0 – 7 7 0
Haven (23-3) 200 006 0 – 8 11 1
Nixon and Urban. Boyfriend. Brawner, Estill (7) and Barnett. W – Brother. Brawner. L – Nixon. 2B – Hoisington: Aylward. Haven: Estill (2), Arnold, Yoder. 3B – Hoisington: Nixon. HR – Haven: Estill.
CHENEY 4, HOISINGTON 2
Hoisington (20-5) 000 001 1 – 2 4 0
Cheney (24-1) 200,002 x— 4 8 1
Nixon and Urban. Lies and Lorenz. W – Lies. L – Nixon. 2B – Hoisington: Urban. Cheney: Wewe, lies. HR – Hoisington: Urban. Cheney: Lies.
SILVER LAKE 7, HAVEN 3
Silver Lake (22-3) 020 030 2— 7 8 1
Haven (22-3) 200 100 0 – 3 9 5
Wende and Horton. Estill, brother. Brawner (2), Estill (5) and Barnett. W – Wende. L – Estill. 2B – Silver Lake: Mr. Kruger, Horton. 3B – Haven: Brother. Brawner.