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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Softball Pups sweep Circle in home opener 10-6, 12-4

  • Whether it was nerves at opening their home schedule or a case of needing to adjust to a slow style of pitching, the McPherson High School softball team took five innings to score their first run against Circle Thursday.
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  • Whether it was nerves at opening their home schedule or a case of needing to adjust to a slow style of pitching, the McPherson High School softball team took five innings to score their first run against Circle Thursday.
    Once they opened the gates, the Lady Pups flooded the T-Birds with 22 total runs between both games of the doubleheader at Grant Sports Complex, winning game one 10-6 and game two 12-4.
    “It was exciting,” MHS coach Danica Fitzmorris said of being at home for the first time this season. “And I’m excited to be here for the next four [doubleheaders] after this, so it will be a good homestand, I hope. It feels comfortable because we’re on our own field and the girls are excited to perform in front of some fans that maybe haven’t been to see some of our games.”
    Circle started out game one of the double header looking the more comfortable team at Grant Sports Complex, as they scored five runs by the bottom of the fifth inning. T-Bird pitcher Amanda Connell stumped the Pups (6-2) with some offspeed pitching in the opening four innings.
    McPherson’s fortunes started to change in the bottom of the fifth, however, as Nicole Cheek was walked, then Stevie Stockham singled to center field, putting Cheek in scoring position. Madison Hoffman hit a sacrifice fly that scored Cheek and make it 5-1 Circle, though the offensive juices started flowing for McPherson.
    A nine-run sixth inning showed exactly what the Bullpups were capable of, as they overcame their slow started and unloaded for seven hits, highlighted by a three-RBI triple from junior Hannah Marshall.
    “We just struggle with slow pitchers,” Fitzmorris said. “So we have to get our timing down. Once we get our timing down, we’re good.”
    Marissa Axelson went 2-for 4 at the plate with a pair of RBIs and a double, while Madison Hoffman also had a pair of RBIs.
    Axelson got the game one start, going three and two-thirds innings and giving up five runs off two hits. She walked five and struck out three.
    Hoffman came into the game in the fourth inning and worked the final three-and-a-third, giving up five hits, but only one run. She struck out four Circle hitters on her way to the win.
    “Good defensive effort to back our pitchers up,” Fitzmorris said. “We’re going to get hit against, but we’re also going to hit the ball. So we’ve got to stay all the way through the seventh.”
    Hoffman earned an iron man badge Thursday, as she went all seven innings of game two to notch the 12-4 win against the T-Birds. She threw 108 pitches, giving up the four runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out three.
    Page 2 of 2 - Game two was all McPherson, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back, with Jasmine Wann driving in two of the runs off a single to left field. Wann finished the game going 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
    Circle did try to make things interesting in the third with McPherson up 4-0, as they scored three runs off Hoffman. The Bullpups responded with eight unanswered runs to pick up the win.
    Cheek and Stockham also both went 2-for-4 at the plate, with Cheek picking up an RBI and Stockham scoring twice.
    McPherson continues its 10 game homestand Monday, as El Dorado comes to the Grant for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.
    Contact Chris Swick by email at cswick@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.
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