Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ottawa softball takes advantage of errors

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 5/7/2014

When the Ottawa High School softball team comes to play, it can give most teams a run for their money. When the Cyclones don’t, it can get ugly.

The Cyclones were on both sides of the spectrum Tuesday on senior night in Ottawa. The Cyclones took advantage of Louisburg mistakes to forge a 5-3 victory in the opener. Ottawa fell apart in the final three innings of an 11-1 loss in the nightcap.

When the Ottawa High School softball team comes to play, it can give most teams a run for their money. When the Cyclones don’t, it can get ugly.

The Cyclones were on both sides of the spectrum Tuesday on senior night in Ottawa. The Cyclones took advantage of Louisburg mistakes to forge a 5-3 victory in the opener. Ottawa fell apart in the final three innings of an 11-1 loss in the nightcap.

“We are own worst enemy,” Ottawa coach Joe Serna said. “It comes down to us. We have to make plays. Louisburg put a string of hits together after the errors. We are playing ourselves. We are playing not to lose, instead of to win.”

Ottawa committed five errors in the second game. Ottawa made three errors in Louisburg’s six-run fifth inning that snapped a 1-1 tie.

“Too many errors,” Serna said. “We could not carry it over. We have to clean that stuff up. You have to play fundamentally sound to give yourself a chance to win.”

Serna said teams like Louisburg and undefeated Paola pounce on those openings.

“That is what those good teams do,” he said. “The Frontier League is the toughest around.”

The opener was textbook as Ottawa made Louisburg pay for its mistakes. Louisburg made two errors on the same play and it led to two runs for Ottawa in the fourth inning.

Ottawa had just one hit, but it was a big one. Sophomore Courtney Clayton ripped a two-out 2-RBI double in the sixth inning to snap a 3-3 tie.

“Courtney has been on fire this season with big-time hits,” Serna said.

Senior Kendall Blanco tossed a complete game in the victory.

“You could not ask a senior to do anymore on senior night to come out and throw the way she did,” Serna said. “She had great command of her pitches. [Catcher] Amy-Grace Wilson called a great game. She has been doing that all season.”

Ottawa (7-8) plays Friday and Saturday in the Turner Tournament. Ottawa plays 4 p.m. Friday against Bonner Springs.

Central Heights

The Central Heights softball team extended its winning streak to six games Tuesday with a home sweep of Iola. The Vikings won 9-8 in eight innings and 11-2.

Kirby Laird had three RBIs in the first game. Kinsey Laird drove home two runs. Kenzie Hayward had a double.

Hayward pitched 5 1/3 innings with six strikeouts. Megan Davis got the win as she tossed 2 2/3 innings with four strikeouts.

Hayward had three hits and two RBIs in the nightcap. The Lairds and Davis two hits each.

Davis went the distance with seven strikeouts.

Central Heights plays today in the league tournament.

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