Goddard wins 10-inning thriller for title


By Michael Buhler

The Goddard Lions softball team’s 3-1 win in 10 innings over Andover in the Class 5A regional final last Wednesday might just go down as an instant classic.
With the score tied at 1-1 after nine innings, Laci Dryden tripled home Emma Johnson for the go-ahead run, then Natalie Klenda-Lopez laid down a bunt to score Dryden and give the Lions a 3-1 lead.
Kendal LeGrand turned in a Jack Morris-esque pitching performance for Goddard, pitching all 10 innings while allowing one run, 10 hits, two walks and striking out 18 batters.
“We are very excited after two hard-fought games last week,” Goddard coach Rita Smith said. “Kendal was a presence on the mound. I was so proud of all the girls. With only one senior and three juniors, over half the team had never seen an atmosphere like that before. We feel that we have had a tough schedule that has prepared us for this tournament.”
Laci Dryden had four of the Lions’ eight hits, while Klenda-Lopez drove in two runs, including the game’s first run in the top of the third inning. Andover scored its lone run off of LeGrand in the bottom of the inning to tie the score at 1-1.
Goddard (16-6) reached the regional final by defeating Arkansas City 3-1 earlier in the day. LeGrand had two hits and drove in two runs to support her cause in the circle.
The Lions are the seventh seed at the Class 5A State tournament at Wilkins Stadium in Wichita and will take on No. 2 Spring Hill (21-1) Thursday at 11 a.m. The winner faces either Basehor-Linwood (19-3) or Valley Center (17-5) in the semifinals Friday at 11 a.m.
The loser of that game plays for third at 3 p.m., while the State championship game is set for 5 p.m.

GHS 001 000 000 2 – 3 8 0
AHS 001 000 000 0 – 1 10 0
W – LeGrand. L – Eubank.

Ark City 100 000 0 – 1 3 1
Goddard 210 000 x – 3 5 1
W – LeGrand.