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McPherson Holds Regional Opponents Scoreless, Punching Ticket to STATE


By Grant Barrett, Ad Astra Radio


McPHERSON, Kan. – The McPherson High Softball team put together two shut out performances in the regional tournament on Tuesday, punching their ticket to the Class 4A State Tournament in Salina.

The Bullpups would open the regional semifinals taking on Winfield, where it was a pitcher’s duel early as Addison Chapman would get the start in the circle for McPherson. She would get some help from her offense in the fourth inning when they would load the bases before Reanna Eilrich broke the tie with one swing of the bat. 

“That I think allowed some people to have a little less pressure,” said Head Coach Danica Fitzmorris, who admitted the offense struggled a little bit, she said, “I felt like they were nervous, so now that the nerves are over, we can just move forward and do what we usually do, which is hit the ball well.”

After defeating Winfield 5-0, the bats were warmed up for Abilene. After scoring a run in the first on a wild pitch, Chloe Clevenger and Addison Chapman would collect RBI’s which gave the Pups a 3-0 lead after the second inning.

In the third, the Lady Pups had their best inning of the day, scoring eight runs, with RBI’s coming from six different players.

“I’m not honestly sure that Winfield is a sixteen seed team, I feel like they’re pretty good.” said Fitzmorris following the regional tournament, she mentioned being more nervous to see the Vikings for the third time this season. Overall, she was pleased with the performance that she saw in the circle from Chapman and Addie Herrera, and credited the defense behind them.

After falling in the Regional Final last season, Fitzmorris talked and reflected about how special it is to take this group, saying, “I had a lot of animosity from last year because I felt like we should’ve been there and just didn’t make it, so I felt bad for the girls because I want them to feel what it’s like to get to go there, so I’m excited for them most of all.”

As Fitzmorris shifted her attention to the state tournament she said, “We just need to keep working everyday,” she looks to improve offensively, but concluded by saying, “I need them to just be relaxed and play ball. I just want them to enjoy the experience instead of being nervous about it. I think getting over this hump will help them, so I just want them to relax and have fun.”

The Class 4A State Tournament will take place in Salina, next Thursday, May 25 and Friday, May 26 at Salina South. McPherson will await their opponent as the bracket will be released Thursday, May 18.