Sunflower Games sizzle, fizzle
Brutal heat and tough competition spelled for tough times for the Baldwin Skyhawks at the Sunflower State Games over the weekend. The Skyhawks finished with one win for their efforts and were eliminated in the first round of Sunday's playoff format.
"The season is done," said coach Ginny Honomichl. "It's tough to do back-to-back games in the heat and humidity."
That's what the Skyhawks had to do Saturday. After absorbing and 8-0 beating by the Topeka Chaos at 2 p.m. in the opening contest of the games, they had to turn right around and play the Stillwell Stars at 3:30 p.m.
Baldwin's fortunes were much better in that second game. The Skyhawks thumped the stars 8-1 behind the four-hit pitching of Satinne Maring and a "much improved defense" after the Chaos debacle where Honomichl termed the defense "ugly."
Katie Martin led the eight-hit attack with three singles. Tarin Troth had a double. Kristen Wessel, Mary Martin, Kari Garrison and Kayla Pringle all chipped in with hits.
The Skyhawks then had a "break" until 7 p.m., when they took on SEK Sonic. Baldwin scored four times in the fourth inning to take a 4-1 lead. SEK answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth and took the lead with a single tally in the fifth. Baldwin tied it up in the sixth with a run, but SEK again answered to take a 6-5 win.
"It was a tough loss," said Honomichl. "In the bottom of the last inning we didn't get the tag down at home plate."
Baldwin had six hits, with Suzie Weege picking up two of them. K. Martin had a double. Kyrstan Hubbel took the one-run loss on the mound.
That brought on Sunday's playoff round and a rematch with SEK. The teams went scoreless until SEK plated a pair in the sixth inning and held on for the 2-0 win, which ended the tourney for the Skyhawks.
"We had basically one good opportunity to do some scoring, but popped into a bunt double play," she said. "It was a well-pitched and well-played game by both teams."
Baldwin had four hits singles by Garrison, K. Martin and Wessel, and a double by Weege. Maring took the loss despite giving up just five hits and striking out nine.
It was the season finale for the Hawks.
"My thanks to the older Skyhawks for their leadership and inclusion of the younger Skyhawks on this team. We will miss them. They have been Skyhawks for a long time," said Honomichl. "My thanks also goes to those who filled in as coaches throughout the season Bob Martin, Abby Honomichl, Kathy Garrison and Susie Martin.
"I also want to thank our fantastic scorekeeper, Jeri Pringle, our wonderful photographer, Kim Hubbel, and to our sponsors Garrison Roofing, Baldwin State Bank, Maple Leaf Festival Committee and the Pringles," she said. "We'll see everybody again next summer."