The Spearville High School softball team finally got over the hump on Friday, winning its first Class 2-1A state tournament game in three consecutive tries at Emporia's Trusler Sports Complex.

    The previous two years, Spearville had been eliminated in the first round of the state tourney. This year, the Lancers defeated Yates Center 14-6 in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals today. They will play at 10 a.m. against either Inman or Cottonwood Falls.


    The Spearville High School softball team finally got over the hump on Friday, winning its first Class 2-1A state tournament game in three consecutive tries at Emporia's Trusler Sports Complex.
    The previous two years, Spearville had been eliminated in the first round of the state tourney. This year, the Lancers defeated Yates Center 14-6 in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals today. They will play at 10 a.m. against either Inman or Cottonwood Falls.
    “(The team is) pretty excited,” Spearville head coach Casey Rynerson said. “Obviously, they were not very happy with the way we played the first five innings of the game, but they are excited to be moving on anyway.”
    If Spearville can win in its semifinal, it will play in the championship at 1 p.m. later that day. If the Lancers lose, they will play in the consolation game at noon.
    Going into the bottom of the sixth, it looked like Spearville might make another early exit in state play, trailing 6-5.
    “I don’t think they were nervous, they were eager to get going,” Rynerson said. “They were obviously eager, but I don’t think nervous at all. We came out and played well the first inning, but after that, we kind of let down a little bit.”
    The Lancers turned things around at the plate in the bottom of the sixth, putting up nine runs to pull out to a 14-6 lead.
    “We just had to settle down at the plate and not try to do too much,” Rynerson said. “They hit the ball where it was pitched, so when we got two strikes on us, we shortened up and put the ball in play.
     "We just did the things that made us successful throughout most of the year, and early on we were getting away from it.”
   Pitcher  Amanda Israel held Yates Center scoreless in the seventh to capture the win.
    During the game, Spearville had five extra-base hits, with Payton Strecker tripling.
    “(The big hits) came in the later innings,” Rynerson said. “We were trying to do too much at the plate first few innings. Once we settled down and just hit the ball where it was pitched, good things happened. We were not trying to do too much then, and good things happened.”