By CONOR NICHOLL
Last week, especially Thursday, yielded key doubleheaders between teams that had not yet lost. Major results included Council Grove against Mission Valley; Hoisington-Central Plains versus Haven, and Spring Hill versus Eudora. Plus, Washburn Rural ended Topeka High’s winning streak.
Last Thursday, 3A Council Grove faced 2-1A Mission Valley in a battle of undefeated squads. Mission Valley won, 3-1, in the first contest. Council Grove captured the second game, 10-5. CG is 9-1.
In the 3-1 contest, Mission Valley scored single runs in the first and second. CG countered with a run in the fifth, and MV scored again in the sixth. Mission Valley recorded 10 hits, six more than Council Grove. Mission Valley junior Morgan Tomlinson, one of the state’s elite pitchers for all classes and a Hutchinson Community College commit, permitted four hits and an unearned run. Tomlinson struck out 14 against no walks. Council Grove junior pitcher Jessica Filkin permitted three runs with five strikeouts against two walks. Senior Haley Atwood finished 2 of 3 with a double versus CG.
Tomlinson limited Council Grove’s standout senior duo of Mija Carlson and Elle Dragone to 0 of 5. In Game 2, Mission Valley led 3-0 after the first inning and 4-1 after three. However, Council Grove scored a run in the fourth, two in the fifth, four in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Six Council Grove players scored at least two hits in the victory. Dragone finished 3 of 4 with three runs scored and a pair of doubles. She has committed to Division II Harding (Ark.).
Senior Karley Goodell and junior Lillian Tompkins both drove in two runs. Freshman Kaedyn Litke worked all seven innings for the victory. Tomlinson pitched the second game and went all seven innings. This year, Tomlinson has struck out 84 with a 1.24 ERA. Mission Valley stands at 8-1 and has its huge doubleheader versus Burlingame on Thursday in a matchup of two teams that are in the same regional and likely the two best 2-1A squads. Burlingame is 8-0.
In the Central Kansas League, Hoisington/Central Plains continues its huge season. HCP was a 3A final four squad last winter and returned the bulk of its top players. Last Thursday, Hoisington beat Haven, 16-12, and 13-6. The Cardinals are 8-0 and have scored at least nine runs in every game. Haven is a highly decorated program under longtime coach Darin Ashworth. Hoisington had just three wins versus Haven from ’15-21.
Haven was 6-0 entering the contests.
In 3A, Columbus (11-0), Frontenac (8-0) and Girard (7-0) are all undefeated and in the same Baxter Springs regional. Scott City (8-0) and Cimarron/Ingalls (6-0) are perfect in the Cimarron regional. Hoisington, Cheney and Rossville (12-0) are also undefeated.
Cheney, Wamego stay undefeated; Topeka’s winning streak ends
Cheney captured the 3A state championship last spring and returned multiple standouts, including seniors Korri Lies and Brooklyn Wewe. Lies is the returning 3A player of the year. Cheney is 7-0 after Monday’s doubleheader sweep versus Douglass, 17-1 and 17-10. Cheney hit five homers, including two from Wewe and one apiece from Lies, Lexi Lorenz, and Elina Bartlett.
Cheney is part of the Kingman regional with Ellsworth (7-1), Haven (6-2) and Kingman (6-2). Cheney has scored in double figures in every contest. Cheney has won 17 straight games.
Wamego, the defending 4A champions, is 10-0 and has scored 10.3 runs a contest. Wamego, Bishop Miege and Clearwater (10-0) are the lone undefeated 4A squads. Junior Ashten Pierson has a .500 average with three triples. Senior Paige Donnelly has a .469 average. Senior Delaney Campbell has a .471 average with four homers. Junior Maya Gallagher has a .406 average with four homers. Gallagher has 54 strikeouts against seven walks with a 3.18 ERA. Freshman Peyton Hardenburger has 55 strikeouts versus seven walks.
On Monday, Clearwater hit three homers in wins against Buhler, one each from freshmen Camryn Carlson and Kaylee Hampton, and another by sophomore Lizzy Tjaden.
Topeka lost to rival Washburn Rural with 1-0 and 8-1 losses on April 12 behind brilliant play from Emmerson Cope. WR has allowed just three total runs this season. Topeka had its 31-game winning streak end. Cope worked all 14 innings with 17 strikeouts and recorded two homers.
Washburn Rural is 9-1, and Topeka is 8-2. Topeka is the reigning 6A state champion.
In 4A, Eudora stands at 8-1, while 5A Spring Hill is 11-1. Both teams have allowed under 2.5 runs a contest. On April 12, Eudora won 7-2, while Spring Hill captured the second contest, 8-0. Spring Hill has had the upper hand in the series in the last decade.
Spring Hill has big numbers from multiple players. Blaire Sommer and Jaleigh White both have a .571 average, although Sommer has seven at-bats and White with 35. White has nine extra-base hits, including four doubles and four homers. Maggie McNally has a .469 average. McNally has been superb in the circle with a 6-0 record, 2.60 earned-run average and 44 strikeouts against 17 walks in 29.2 innings.
5A Bishop Carroll has the state’s longest current winning streak and among the top-15 nationally. BC is 8-0 this spring and has won 29 straight. Kadence Brewster, the reigning 5A player of the year, carries a .750 average. Eve Morris is hitting .591. Kaylee Back carries a .571 average.
Bishop Carroll will face City League rival Wichita Northwest on Thursday. Carroll has won 14 straight in the series since 2014.
Other top performances
Horton baseball is its inaugural season and earned the first wins in program history with victories against Burlingame on Monday.
Holcomb baseball had a great performance from the Johnson cousins on Monday. The Johnsons had 7.2 innings of work with 15 strikeouts against four hits and a run. Seniors Kaden and Kolby hit a homer in the first game, and freshman Keegan had eight strikeouts in three-plus innings. Kaden Johnson has been among the state’s best quarterbacks. In five games, Johnson carries a .647 average, along with a double, triple and eight RBI.
Silver Lake senior Daigan Kruger, also an elite signal caller, pitched a no-hitter with five strikeouts against Riley County.
Chaparral’s Wyatt Drouhard, who emerged as a surprise player last fall as the Roadrunners’ first-year starting quarterback, has long had baseball as his top sport. He struck out 15 with a no-hitter in a 5-0 win against Medicine Lodge.
Northeast-Arma sophomore Shelby Underwood, featured last season and this year on Sports In Kansas, has led the Vikings to a 12-0 start. She is 7-0 in the circle. Underwood, who has played elite travel softball, carries a remarkable .957 average (22 of 23) with five homers, seven doubles and 28 RBI.
Sedgwick, the defending 2-1A baseball champion, is 11-1. The Cardinals have enjoyed a. 590 average with three homers and a 5-0 record with a 1.75 earned-run average from senior Lance Hoffsommer. He is Sedgwick’s Shrine Bowl quarterback and has committed to Emporia State football. Connor Tillman, the state’s all-time leader in kick scoring, has a .458 average and permitted one earned run in 16.2 innings. Corey Crumrine has a .425 average and 1.40 ERA. Austin Harjo is 2-0 with 26 strikeouts.
Chapman’s Hayden Frazier hit three homers in a doubleheader against Southeast of Saline.
Wichita Heights’ softball is off to a 6-0 start and has averaged 17.5 runs per game. Savannah Maddox carries an .833 average. Annalee Kealey has four homers, Hayden Wettstein has three and Kyndall Stine has two.
Maize’s Avery Johnson and Jayden Gustafson are both hitting .500.
Updated state baseball rankings as of 4-17-22 by the Kansas Baseball Coaches Association:
Blue Valley West, Olathe West, Lawrence Free State, Gardner-Edgerton, Derby, Blue Valley North, Olathe South, Blue Valley Northwest, Haysville Campus
Mill Valley, Blue Valley Southwest, Topeka Seaman, Maize, De Soto, Maize South, Hays High, St. Thomas Aquinas, Valley Center, St. James Academy
Bishop Miege, McPherson, Ottawa, Buhler, Paola, Towanda-Circle, Rock Creek, Iola, Augusta, Pratt
Bishop Ward, Wichita Collegiate, Columbus, Southeast of Saline, Anderson County, Rossville, Humboldt, Frontenac, Sabetha
Sedgwick, Mission Valley, Colony-Crest, Colgan, Central Burden, Elkhart, Valley Falls, Ellis, Little River, Bucklin