Warriors sweep Inman
Playing their second set of doubleheaders in as many days, Marion’s softball and baseball teams swept the Inman Teutons in the Warriors’ league home openers Thursday.
In chilly weather, the Warriors softball team picked up its first pair of wins of the year, dispatching the Teutons 17-7 and 16-6 in shortened games.
Coming off Tuesday’s split with Council Grove, the baseball initially struggled but raced to 17-6 and 15-0 run-rule victories.
The sweeps square the softball team’s record at 2-2 while the baseball team improves to 5-1.
Both remain are unbeaten in Heart of America league action at 2-0 heading into an April 10 showdown at Sedgwick.
Sophomore Jaxton Tracy took to the mound for the opener, firing a one-hitter in 32/3 innings to earn the victory.
Marion wasted little time roughing up Teuton freshman Derick Johnson, jumping to a 4-0 lead after a pair of singles by Luke Lanning and a two-run shot from Garrett Hoffner.
Inman had a chance to tie in the top of the third with Tracy loading the bases with one out.
Tracy escaped with minimal damage, walking in a run to end the shutout but leaving the bases loaded.
The Warriors stretched the lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the third with Evann Heidebrecht sparking a three-run burst and Tracy ripping a two-run single.
Coach Roger Schroeder’s decision to leave Tracy in caught up with him the top of the fourth as Inman erupted for five runs, including a three-run double.
“That was on me not getting him out of the game a little sooner,” Schroeder said. “When he was efficient early on in the game, he looked really good.
“Commanding the strike zone and commanding it early was a point of emphasis today. Jaxton did a good job; he just labored a little bit.”
Eli Hett took over late in fourth, getting out of the inning without further damage.
Marion broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth with a 10-run explosion that punished the Teutons’ bullpen.
Joining Tracy with a pair of RBIs were Jacob Vondenkamp, Lanning, Blaine Mermis, and Hoffner.
In the nightcap, the Warriors jumped out to another 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
“I really liked the way we started the second game,” Schroeder said. “We were hitting the ball hard, we had a good approach, we hit the ball hard and we used the field. It was the closest thing to Marion baseball I’ve seen this year.”
Chase Stringer tossed a no-hitter and struck out five in the three-inning outing, enjoying a comfortable 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning.
That’s when the ceiling caved in on the Teutons, surrendering five hits for 10 runs.
Marion nearly batted around twice with Vondenkamp, Hoffner and Cole Srajer each adding two RBIs with Srajer nailing a triple.
With hitting as the major emphasis for Warrior coach Jennifer Felvus, Marion continued improving, bashing the Teuton pitching staff for a combined 29 hits worth 31 runs.
Wide margins allowed Felvus to use her bench on both offense and defense.
“We’ve been really working on hitting the ball hard, and a lot of the girls squared up on the ball and did exactly that,” Felvus said. “We’ve got a lot of girls and depth, and it was good to run them through, especially the first game.”
What wasn’t good was the Warriors falling behind after the first half inning in both games, when Inman got out to 1-0 and 3-0 leads.
Marion wasted little time responding, racing to an 11-2 lead with four runs in the first and a seven in the second, leaving the Teutons in jeopardy of having the game unraveling.
With a game-high 5 RBIs and going 2-for-4 in the opener, Tori Shults decked a triple in the flurry.
The Warriors stretched their lead to 15-3 with another four-run outburst in the third. Grace Overton tossed a three-hit, seven-run game for the win.
Inman put up a combined four runs in the fourth and fifth, but it wasn’t enough to prolong the Warriors’ 14-hit opener.
Freshman Chisholm Waner took to the mound in the nightcap, loading the bases with one out and giving Inman a trio of unearned runs.
The Warriors didn’t stay down long with Waner and Corrina Crabb fueling a six-run, four-hit rally that put Marion in the driver’s seat to stay with RBI singles.
The Warrior lead ballooned to 9-5 the bottom of the second with Lindsey Sigel, Chloe Burkholder, and Alli Molleker all singling in runs.
Sigel and Waner went a combined 4-for-8 and six RBIs to go along with a pair of triples.
Sigel’s triple in the bottom of the third left Inman doubled over at 10-5.
A five-run fourth, highlighted by Waner’s two-run triple and singles by Kourtney Hansen and Sigel had Inman walking the tightrope of another shortened game, trailing 15-5.
Inman saw to it the Warriors would have to have a final at-bat, with a costly error at first base extending the game at 15-6.
The Teutons blew their chance at lasting longer than five innings with Bailey Baker reaching on an error that allowed the winning run to score.
“There were some moments we really had to fight through, but I felt like we were right where needed to be,” Felvus said. “We’re going to continue getting stronger, more consistent and experienced. I like where we’re at right now.”
Last modified April 4, 2018