Larks take two from Independence

Lark softball defeated Independence Community College 8-2 and 3-2 yesterday in Region VI competition in Hesston. Hesston College moved to 21-16 on the season. The Larks are inching closer to the wins in a season record. They need to win half of their remaining 12 games to improve on last year’s record setting season.

Game one got off to the perfect start with three-up and three-down for the Larks defense. In the bottom of the first, the Hesston College offense was smart and efficient, taking advantage of an error, hit by a pitch and two walks. Making sure the ball got into play coupled with quality base running allowed the Larks to close the first with a 3-0 advantage that Independence would never overcome. The Larks added three more runs in the fourth and two in the fifth to win 8-2.

Game two took a lot more quality and a walk-off two-RBI hit from Lexi Avalos in the seventh to earn victory. The Larks got on the board first with an unusual play, a double steal. Kaylen Lassley attempted to steal second while Taylor Martin was on third. As the catcher threw out Lassley at second, Martin stole home. This gave Hesston College the 1-0 advantage until Independence got one back in the third and went ahead with another run in the fifth.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, the Larks were down 2-1. Martin was on second and Brianna Baca was on third as Avalos stepped up to the plate. Singling a hard ground ball into right field was all Hesston College needed to complete the come-from-behind win and take both games on the day.

“A walk-off is special in a low scoring game,” said Head Coach Andy Sharp. “It is a lot of fun to play good defense and have great pitching and then get the win in that way. It was a good fight and we are excited to keep the momentum going in Region play.”

Avalos went 4-6 on the day including that two RBI walk-off. Martin also had a nice day with two RBIs and four runs scored. Ashley Yasin added two wins and 13 strikeouts to her season and career record totals at Hesston College.

The Larks will be back in NJCAA Region VI action on Friday at Neosho County Community College and on Saturday at Allen Community College.