COLUMBUS, Kan. -- Fort Scott High School's softball team moved into second place in the Southeast Kansas League even after only managing to split with Columbus here Thursday afternoon.
Labette County clinched its third consecutive league championship by sweeping Parsons, which entered Thursday night in second place. The Grizzlies took 7-0 and 3-1 victories over the Vikings, the latter in 11 innings. LCHS (14-0 SEK, 18-0 overall) has won 44 consecutive league games and is 45-1 in SEK play since the start of the 2010 season.
Columbus took the first game from Fort Scott 10-7 but the Tigers came back to win the second game 11-5. Fort Scott moved into second at 8-4, 9-7 while Parsons dropped to third at 9-5, 12-6. Columbus is in seventh place in the nine-team SEK at 5-8, 8-8.
Fort Scott head coach Alvin Metcalf said that the story of the first game was similar to many of the Tigers' losses this season.
"We seem to keep having the same problem, but in different ways mentally," he said. "These are the ways we keep losing games: Misjudged ball, throw to the wrong base, not knowing who to throw to and which base. But these are things we can fix quickly."
Maddi Allen went 3 for 4 at the plate for Fort Scott while Sidney Maycumber and Delane Gray were each 2 for 4 and Hannah Tourtillott was 2 for 5.
The Tigers cranked out 15 hits in the second game while Jenna Harper (6-3) allowed 2 earned runs on 9 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. Mackenzie Jackman was 3 for 5 with 5 runs batted in. One of those hits was her first home run as a Tiger.
Also for Fort Scott, Tourtillott was 4 for 5 and Allen and Ericah Shoemaker had 2 hits each. Kenzie Heatherly drove in 2 runs.
Metcalf also praised his defense in the second game. The Tigers committed 4 errors but not in crucial situations as they did in the first game.
"Jackman gunned down her 17th runner trying to steal," Metcalf said. "Delane making a diving catch at short, Kenzie Heatherly stealing a line drive from up the middle, and a great relay from Shelby Maycumber from the fence to third to catch a runner trying to go home, and the run down on the same play from Sidney to Jackman to Gray for the final out of the game."
The Tigers play a league doubleheader at Iola Monday before wrapping up the regular season with a home SEK twinbill against Chanute Thursday at Don Hewett Field.