William Chrisman’s softball team had to tread some rough waters to open the season Wednesday, as the Bears dropped both their Pool C games in the Greater Kansas City Tournament at Adair Park.
Liberty notched a 12-2 run-rule win over Chrisman before Odessa plated four runs in the first inning on its way to a 6-1 time-shortened win to finish the evening.
Odessa’s big first inning came on six hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly against Chrisman starter Taylor Wisker. She yielded a leadoff triple in the second before giving way in the circle to Emilie Garner, who had pitched all six innings against Liberty.
“They kind of found some holes that first inning,” Chrisman coach Lindsey Ramsey said of the Bulldogs. “Taylor didn’t do a bad job; they just found the holes. We thought we could give them a different look by bringing in Emilie.”
Garner held Odessa in check, allowing just one run before the game reached the time limit. But the Bears couldn’t string together five hits and four walks well enough against Bulldog starter Raven Bass. A diving catch in center field prevented Chrisman from scoring in the first inning, and Marina Thomas’ RBI single in the third provided the lone run.
“We have great bats on our team,” Ramsey said. “I think they’ll just keep getting better. I was surprised we only scored one run against Odessa [with all the baserunners].”
“It felt like we just weren’t focused at first,” Chrisman shortstop Kyana Mason said. “We eventually got settled down and figured what we needed to do. It was our second game, and we have some stuff to work on in practice.”
Leadoff hitter Hanna VanLanker paced Odessa by going 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs.
In Chrisman’s first game, perennial regional power Liberty tallied seven runs in its first three at-bats. Garner stayed in the circle despite taking a line shot off her leg in the second inning.
The Bears’ lone hits against Liberty starter Allison Gerstner were a leadoff single from Mason and double from Thomas. They scored a pair of unearned runs in the third on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly.
Gerstner struck out five and walked just one. Liberty, which beat Odessa 9-1 to open pool play, scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to enact the mercy rule. Ashlyn Sutton led the Blue Jays at the plate by going 3-for-4 with four runs and three RBIs.
“Liberty had a pretty decent pitcher; their whole team’s pretty decent,” Ramsey said. “We played them a lot harder than we did last year.”
Chrisman plays at 4 p.m. Friday in the bronze bracket.
Follow Mike Genet on Twitter: @genetEJC