MANHATTAN - For the 15th time in the fairly short history of Lady Rams softball, and the 14th time for coach Brian Mitchell, the 2018 squad qualified for the state tournament last Thursday in Manhattan. As the #8 seed they fell just short of moving on to the second round after losing their opener to #1 Haven. Winning 10-5, Haven scored in every inning except the third.

As visitors the Lady Rams started going 1-2-3 in the opening inning. Haven jumped out with three runs in the bottom half. The lead off batter laid down a bunt, and was moved with a base hit from the next batter, the third batter knocked a double for their first run. A third base error brought in the second batter. Another third base error plated another. They left the bases loaded with consecutive fielder choices and a walk.

Riverton got on the scoreboard in the second with a double Kenzie Lee, followed by a double by Aspyn Girard. Haven’s lead off batter reached on a second base error in the inning. An overthrow put her at second, and a wild pitch moved her to third. A sacrifice fly to right field then brought her across.

Morgan McDonald added the Lady Rams second run in the third after her base hit, and steal at second. She went to third on a pass ball, and came across on a 4-3 ground out RBI by Madison Stroup. With two outs in the inning, Haven added their fifth run with a single. The runner moved to second on a single, followed by another single.

Jamee Compton led off the fourth inning with a triple, and scored on a right field sacrifice fly by K. Lee. Haven’s lead off batter started with a base hit, and stole second. The next batter walked. Haven scored again with a base hit. Their third run of the inning was plated after another base hit.

Riverton went 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Haven added two insurance runs to get to their final 10 runs with consecutive doubles, and a sacrifice fly.

The Lady Rams threatened with a comeback in the sixth. K. Lee singled. Houser reached first on a third base error. Girard singled bringing in their fifth run with one out. Makayla Lee walked to load the bases. Two straight strikeouts left them stranded.

Jamee Compton on her last bat finished her outstanding athletic career as a Lady Ram with a base on balls for the Lady Rams only runner in the seventh inning. She has signed to play softball for Newman University in Wichita.

The Lady Rams finished their 2018 season with a 14-10 record. They will surely reload and plan to be back at state next year with Coach Mitchell, his staff, and their great community support.