Anything that could go wrong went wrong for Lambert on Wednesday night.
The Lady Longhorns were one out away from victory in Game 1 before Collins Hill crushed a two-run home run to win 3-2. Lambert never got over the tough loss and fell 13-2 in a mercy-rule shortened Game 2 that saw eight errors in the second round of the Class 6A state softball playoffs at Lambert.
“They were heartbreaking [losses],” Lambert coach Dana Corr said. “Our girls work so hard and it just didn’t go our way, but we’re still proud of them. No matter the end result, everything that we were doing was icing on the cake for us. We were so proud that we won the region championship and we’re so thankful to be here.”
The Lady Longhorns’ season is over with a record of 30-5, its best in program history. Lambert has improved every year since the school started play in 2009 and topped last year’s win total by five.
“Every year we try to double our wins and get better and better and we’ve done that,” Corr said. “So next year, hopefully, we have nine girls who are leaving, so it’ll be a rebuilding year, but with that talent here and the foundation that all of these seniors have built, I think we’ll be fine.”
Collins Hill (25-5) needed late-inning heroics from Amanda Chance in Game 1 and got just that. With Lambert ahead 2-1 in the top of the seventh with a runner on second and two outs, Chance lifted a home run to left field off Kassie Howard (CG, 5 H, 10 K, 2 ER) for the go-ahead runs and ultimately the 3-2 win.
Lambert scored both of its runs in the fourth inning, as Howard (2-for-3) contributed at the plate with an RBI single to score Maddie Butz, while Rachel Ross knocked in Megan Whitlatch on a ground out.
Game 2 wasn’t any better for the Lady Longhorns. Collins Hill benefited from 10 unearned runs and an eight-run third inning to take an 11-2 lead. The Lady Eagles tacked on two more in the fourth to win 13-2.
Lambert’s Whitlatch provided the only offense for the team with a two-run triple down the right field line to score Butz and Savannah Huffstetler.
“I guess it was nice with a game like that to have something to look on positively,” Whitlatch said. “We’ve grown so much. We’ve never made it this far, which is amazing. We were just happy to make it this far.”