Kara Amos is back, and that puts a smile on the face of Truman High School softball coach Dan Harper despite a 4-1 conference loss to Lee’s Summit Monday at Adair Park.
Amos, who suffered a mild ligament injury sliding into third base in the first game of the season, was cleared to play early Monday morning and took the mound for the Patriots later in the day.
She pitched out of bases-loaded jams the first two innings against the Tigers, but saw some timely Lee’s Summit hits and a couple of infield errors pave the way to three runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Lee’s Summit’s Mak Rice added a solo homer in the sixth inning and Hayley Kerley allowed just five hits and one run in helping the Tigers improve to 4-6.
Amos collected two of those hits – a second inning single and a sixth inning double that led to Truman’s lone run. After her double, Myel White doubled a pinch runner to third and Taylor Hastings drove the run home with a ground ball out to second base.
“It feels super good to be back,” Amos said. “Our team has struggled and been flat on the bases and in the field, and it’s great to be back and help our team anyway I can.”
Following the game, Harper had a lengthy meeting with his 5-5 team (0-2 Suburban Large Seven), addressing its sluggish performance.
“We were flat, and there was no reason for us to come out flat against Lee’s Summit,” Harper said. “We talked about a game we played earlier this season when we played a very good team that was flat and we got a big win.
“We’re a young team and we made some mistakes today, but we’re 10 games into the season and we’re not going to use that as an excuse any more. I saw some things I liked, but I saw too many things I didn’t like, and I think it was important to address some issues with our girls.”
One thing he liked was seeing his senior leader on the mound and hitting in her familiar No. 4 spot in the lineup.
“Kara is a special young lady and a special player,” Harper said. “Last year she hit .620 – and I don’t care what league you’re in, that’s impressive. Today, her first day back pitching and playing (she had a couple of at-bats but did not play in the field last week against Lee’s Summit West) and she pitched well enough to win and had two hits.
“She is such a great hitter that I am actually surprised when she doesn’t get a hit.”
While Harper was disappointed in his team’s performance, first-year Tigers coach Joe Rohlfing was pleased with his squad’s win.
“They’re a very good team,” Rohlfing said. “And I told my girls how proud I was of them because we had a couple of early scoring opportunities and didn’t get any runs – but we kept chipping away and chipping away and managed to score those three runs in the fifth. And Mak’s home run was huge – you can’t score too many runs against a good team like Truman.”
Lee’s Summit’s Omara Love, Dani Liles and Molly Clouse had two hits each and Kailee Liles had a two-run single in the three-run sixth inning.