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Short season ends at home

Benton Community edges Solon in regional semifinal, 3-2
Senior Kayla West delivers a pitch against Benton Community in a Class 3A regional semifinal July 17 in Solon. The Lady Spartans fell to the Bobcats, 3-2. West went the distance in the loss, striking out two and walking one while allowing seven hits and three runs. (photos by Doug Lindner)

SOLON– The Lady Spartans had their chances.
Senior pitcher Kayla West and the Solon defense held Benton Community to three earned runs on seven hits, and the Lady Spartans came up with 15 hits and forced six errors.
But Solon’s varsity softball team couldn’t convert them into runs, and the Lady Spartans bowed out of the 2020 season in a Class 3A regional semifinal July 17 at home, 3-2.
Solon’s runs came in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Bobcats leading 3-0. Sophomore Camryn Keith and junior courtesy runner Payton Haasl crossed home on RBI by senior Jadyn Jeter and West.
Despite striking out only twice and batting .469 against Bobcat hurler Katelyn Buscher, Solon’s offense couldn’t turn its hits into runs.
The Lady Spartans threatened to score in the bottom of the first when sophomore Meghan O’Neill’s single loaded the bases with two outs. The inning ended on a fly ball to left.
The Bobcats took the lead in the top of the third when Benton Community loaded the bases on a single, a double and a fielder’s choice. West struck out the next batter with a high fastball for two outs and jumped out to an 0-2 count before walking in a run.
Buscher helped her own cause with a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning.
West went the distance in the loss, striking out two and walking one while allowing seven hits and three runs.
Junior Sarah Heick went 3-4 at the plate to lead the Lady Spartan offense. Freshman Hilary Wilson, O’Neill, sophomore Ava Stebral and Keith each had two-hit games.
Solon retired for the season with a record of 20-14.
The Lady Spartans had reached the semifinal with a resounding 13-3 win over West Marshall in a regional quarterfinal July 15.
Solon scored in all six innings, led by Wilson, who was 4-5 with a double, a home run and four RBI. O’Neill added four singles, while Jeter went 3-5 with two doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. West and Keith each had two hits and two RBI; Heick was 3-5 with a double and an RBI; and senior Peyton Sands was 3-3.
Although West Marshall took an early first-inning 1-0 lead, the Lady Spartans responded with two runs in the home half of the inning, then took control with seven runs in the second. The Trojans scored two more runs in the fourth inning off West, who struck out three and walked one in five innings of work, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits.
Sophomore Carly Ellison threw a single inning of relief, striking out one and walking one.