EARL WATT • Leader & Times
Liberal and Dodge City have both struggled during the 2023 season, but the Lady Redskins were able to earn a Western Athletic Conference win Tuesday by knocking off the Lady Red Demons 5-1.
Prior to first pitch in the final home game of the season, senior Lizzy Cisneros tossed out a ceremonial first pitch reminiscent of her honorary start on senior night in the final regular season home basketball game. Cisneros injured her foot in basketball season, and after briefly playing early in the softball season, she had surgery that ended her career as a Lady Redskin. But seniors Ariana Hubbard and Jenna Ormiston did play, and Hubbard was able to score a run while Ormiston did her job in the circle.
Neither team scored in the first inning, but the Lady Redskins pushed a run across the plate in the second for a 1-0 lead. Liberal extended the lead to 2-0 in the second inning and had a chance fore more but stranded runners on second and third.
The Lady Red Demons fired back in the top of the third and pushed a run across the plate before stranding a runner at third to end the inning.
Lizzy Mannel delivered a devastating blow to the Lady Red Demons in the fifth with a deep shot to right center that scored two more runs, and a third crossed the plate in the inning to give the Lady Redskins a 5-1 lead.
Jenna Ormiston made it stick by not giving up a run in the final two innings to preserve the 5-1 win. Ormiston pitched all seven innings and allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out five. Sophomores Taylor Harding, Lexi Miller and Lizzy Mannel each had two hits in the win. Mannel had three RBIs. Harding had an RBI, and Zoey Torres also had an RBI.
The win moved Liberal to 4-14 on the season and currently in the 15th seed position for the Class 6A playoffs. Liberal had two games against Dodge City today and could move up, or down, the pairings depending on the outcome.
Currently, Liberal would face the No. 2 seed, which would be Garden City (16-2). Pairings will be released Saturday.