SM North rolls past SM South, falls to BV Southwest at Sunflower League Softball Festival
OLATHE — Shawnee Mission North freshman Anna Harrison has been an innings eater in the circle for the Indians JV softball team this season, and her hard work was rewarded with her first varsity start on Friday in the Sunflower League Softball Festival at the Olathe District Activity Center.
Harrison admitted that she felt plenty of nerves when she stepped into the circle against Shawnee Mission South, but they began to fade as the Indians rolled to a 14-3 rout of the Raiders. North bounced back to beat SM South after suffering a 13-2 loss to Blue Valley Southwest in the first of its two games in the Sunflower League Softball Festival.
"It was pretty fun," Harrison said. "It was very nerve-racking, but once I got out there and started throwing, it was really fun. To pitch to Rilee (Morrow), it turned out really well."
The SM North freshman tossed a one-hitter in the five-inning victory over the Raiders. The one SM South hit was an RBI double by Anna Levorson in the second, and the other two runs came around to score on errors.
Harrison worked one-two-three innings in the first and third. When Harrison's command started to waver in the fifth, her defense atoned for the errors in the third by turning a game-ending double play.
"It's a good experience for her. She's a hard worker," said SM North coach Julie True of Harrison. "It's a little glimpse into the future of what we can expect. That's always exciting."
The Indians gave Harrison plenty of run support with four runs in the first, third and fourth innings. Michelle Zehr and Dallas Drakulich paced the SM North offense with three hits and three RBIs apiece. Zehr had two triples, while Drakulich ripped two doubles.
Leksi Macan and Julie Meza drove in two runs each. Macan, Morrow, Jessica Romero and Hannah Redick had multi-hit games.
"We tell them all the time that hits are contagious, so let's keep the line moving," True said. "We have to have not just the top of the lineup producing, but we have to have it one through nine. That's really what we're stressing."
Macan set the tone for the Indians in the first inning against the Timberwolves. The SM North junior hit an RBI double to tie it up at 1-1. The Indians then capitalized on a BV Southwest error to take a 2-1 lead.
North had some defensive miscues of their own, though, which helped the Timberwolves score six runs in the fourth to take an 8-2 lead.
"We just didn't back up Julie on the mound very well with our defense. No excuses," True said. "They had to play in this wind and they just handled it a lot better than we did. They continued to hit the ball while we just had one big inning. Hopefully in the future we'll be able to keep the bats going throughout the game."
The 1-1 record in the Sunflower League Softball Festival kept the Indians' record at .500, as they moved to 3-3 on the season. North will play next against Olathe Northwest at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the College Boulevard Activity Center.
"I feel like so far, so good," True said. "We have a good foundation to build on. I think we'll just go up from here."