By Phil Aumiller
For the second time in the week, Lyons hosted a top-10 ranked team and played extra innings. This one ended in favor of the Burlington Cougars, but it confirmed that Lyons can hang with the best.
Burlington scored 6 runs in the first three innings while Lyons nibbled away with a run in the first and a run in the second. Sammi Bashor led off the first with a single to left and then scored when Chandler Subbert hit a hard line drive to right with two outs. In the second, Hannah Wallace (pinch-running for Rachel Bashor) scored on a passed ball.
The middle innings belonged to Lyons, as they pulled within one run in the fourth inning and then took the lead in the fifth. Their 3-run rally in the fourth started when Hayley Theriault led off with a walk and then Madison Myers bunted a base hit. Chandler Subbert came through again with a triple to right to knock in two runs. Then Madeline Wallace knocked in Subbert with a single to right field.
In the bottom of the fifth, Brittany King led off with an infield hit and then stole second. Dana Arling reached on an error by the shortstop. King scored on a ball four wild pitch to Theriault, which prompted a pitching change. Sammi Bashor greeted the new pitcher by hitting the first pitch through the infield to score Arling, and Lyons took the lead 7-6.
Burlington tied the game in the top of the seventh with a walk and a triple, but the Lyons defense clamped down and didn’t allow the runner to stretch the triple into an inside-the-park homerun. A perfect relay from King to Arling to Maddy Wallace at third base hung up the runner and Wallace threw her out at the plate. The next batter hit a flair over Dakotah Chartier’s head at shortstop, but she tracked it down and made a nice over-the-shoulder backhand catch for the third out.
Lyons almost broke the tie in the bottom of the seventh, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Theriault reached on an error and then a wild pitch allowed her to take second base. Sammi Bashor tapped a perfect bunt down the first base line, that the first baseman fielded about three inches inside the baseline. With Sammi’s speed, there’s no way she would have been thrown out at first, but the umpire hollered “foul ball” and sent Sammi back to the plate. Based on the reaction of the crowd, the coaches, and even the Burlington players, the foul call was just plain wrong, but the umpire’s opinion is the only one that counts, so Sammi had to try again. With two strikes on her, another bunt attempt was too risky, so she swung away and popped up to the pitcher. Now, instead of runners on first and third with no outs, Lyons had a runner on second with one out. Madison Myers walked, which worked in Burlington’s favor as Dakotah Chartier grounded to the third baseman, who made an easy force-out at third base for the second out. The next Lyons batter struck out, sending the game into extra innings. In the eighth inning, Burlington scored two runs on a bases-loaded single to right, and Lyons was unable to answer with any runs of their own. Burlington left with a 9-7 victory.
After the game, Coach Schuyler said some kind words about his two seniors, Rachel Bashor and Madison Myers, commenting on how these two had been with the team for four years, how they keep the other girls in line, and how their hard work shows in the way that they play. Rachel was accompanied by her parents, Paul and Jodi Bashor. Madison was accompanied physically by her grandfather and her Dad, and in spirit by her late grandmother, Jane.
As someone who has been following Lyons softball for several years, I can attest to the character of both of these girls. They’ve done a great job of carrying on the traditions of leadership, teamwork, and integrity that make Lyons Softball teams so strong, and that make the school a good place to be. Lyons will miss them when they move on, but they’ll be a welcome addition wherever they choose to go.
R H E
Burlington 3 1 2 0 0 0 1 2 9 11 4
Lyons 1 1 0 3 2 0 0 0 7 6 3
Lyons Batting: S. Bashor 5 1 2 1, M. Myers 3 1 1 0, D. Chartier 5 1 0 0, C. Subbert 4 1 2 3, M. Wallace 5 0 1 1, R. Bashor 4 1 0 0, B. King 2 1 0 0, D. Arling 4 1 0 0, H. Theriault 1 0 0 0.
Lyons Pitching: R. Bashor L 8IP 11H 9R 6ER 2K 4BB.
Lyons finished their regular season with a respectable 9 wins and 10 losses. The district tournament starts Thursday at Berthoud, 4 p.m. The winner of that game will play on Saturday at Valley High School for a shot at the state tournament.