Kent to travel throughout; 1st-round game at Colonel
WASHINGTON — The Trojans finished with a flurry, winning four of their last five games to roll into the playoffs with the proverbial head of steam, but coach Michelle Phillips acknowledged that “we are going to have a rough road.”
Kent County (4-13) will travel throughout the 1A East Region softball tournament, which gets underway today.
“If we limit our mistakes and are able to hit and put the ball in play, anything can happen,” Phillips wrote in an email Monday, striking an optimistic tone.
“I have confidence in this group and I know they want to put their best efforts forward,” she said.
The Trojans’ first stop is Colonel Richardson (12-6), which swept the regularseason series, 15-2 and 12-2.
The winner of today’s Kent-Colonel Richardson game has the unenviable draw of defending state champion Bohemia Manor on Monday.
Kent closed out the regular season with a pair of decisive wins — 23-4 at home against Crisfield on May 2, which was Senior Day, and 18-6 at Washington the following day.
“The end of the season showed how the girls learned to play as one cohesive unit,” Phillips wrote in the email. “Our errors are still there, but not as overbearing. We are making routine plays, as well as some great defensive efforts. Also, our girls are hitting better.”
The Trojans needed only one big inning to put away their guests from Crisfield, scoring 14 runs in the last of the second when then sent 18 batters to the plate. Most of Kent’s batters reached on errors, but Lexi Langenfelder and Jillian Hyland provided timely hits.
Kent’s best piece of hitting came in the fourth inning, when Langenfelder and Sailor Bottomley swatted backto-back RBI triples, Lauren Edwards had a run-scoring single and Hyland doubled in a run.
Langenfelder retired Crisfield in order in the fifth on three consecutive strikeouts to put this one in the books.
As lopsided as the game ended, it didn’t start out that way. Crisfield scored four runs in the first inning, most of them unearned, due to sloppy Kent defense.
The Trojans got one of those runs back in their first at-bat and then asserted themselves with 14 runs in the second inning. They added to their double-digit lead with one run in the third inning and seven runs in the fourth.
With the mercy-rule already in effect, they did not need to bat in the fifth.
After the shaky first inning, Langenfelder and company cruised once they had a substantial lead.
First baseman Macy Willis turned a double play in the fourth inning that nullified Crisfield’s leadoff single.
In the home half of the fourth, Maddy Kendall drew a leadoff walk and scored on a passed ball. Mattie Cesarini beat out an infield single and subsequently scored. After Ally Hickman reached on a free pass, Crisfield made its pitching change.
That didn’t provide much relief, however, because with one away, Langenfelder, Bottomley and then Edwards produced runscoring hits in succession to stop any speculation as to when the game would end.
That came a half-inning later when Langenfelder punched out the side.