By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
A split against Wichita Southeast was not what Liberal coach Pat Knott had in mind on Senior Recognition Night at the Liberal baseball complex Friday.
Liberal had its chances to earn the sweep, but a slow start and too many left on base in Game 2 led to a 10-6 loss.
The Lady Redskins won Game 1, 11-9.
Liberal took an early lead in the opener, 4-0, but Southeast didn’t go away and cut the lead to 4-2 in the third.
Liberal continued to add to the lead including a key two-out, base-clearing triple from Kaitlyn Ralston and kept Southeast just far enough out of reach.
In the seventh inning, Liberal had an 11-5 lead before Southeast scored three runs before the Lady Redskins recorded an out.
Knott relieved Jaycee Darroch with freshman Brittney Grainger, and Southeast was only able to score one more run and loaded the bases before Grainger was abel to get a force out at third to end the game.
In Game 2, Liberal fell behind 4-0 and worked uphill the rest of the way. Twice the Lady Redskins had runners at second and third with no outs and failed to score.
In the seventh, the Lady Redskins had the bases loaded with no outs, but Jaycee Darroch swung on a 2-1 count and hit a dribbler back to the mound for a double play. Liberal lost 10-6.
Still, Knott wanted the day to be special for his seniors who started in a program that won three games when they were freshmen, six as sophomores, nine as juniors, and are currently 6-4 with 10 games to go.
“They are a good group,” Knott said. “They are more athletic and have done a good job for the program. They built it. I told them they built it, but they have some ground left. They won’t be forgotten. I wish we would have swept for them tonight, but it happens.”
Liberal will travel to Garden City Tuesday and then to Stanton County Thursday.
The Lady Redskins will return home for their final regular season game April 30 to host Hays. The Lady Redskins will finish on the road at Dodge City May 7, and the regional tournament will begin May 13.