- Val T.
Cripe goes 5 for 5 as Pioneer blanks Argos
Goings pitches 2-hitter, Ks 7
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ARGOS — Hailey Cripe went 5 for 5 with five RBIs, including a three-run homer, and Shaylee Goings pitched a two-hit shutout with seven strikeouts for Pioneer in a 19-0 win in five innings over host Argos at Argos Community Park on April 11.
Cripe hit second in the Pioneer batting order. Fellow senior Kylie Farris hits in front of her in the leadoff spot and formed a productive daily double by going 3 for 4 with three RBIs, two stolen bases and four runs scored ahead of her in the lineup.
Sophomores Casey Webb and Kylie Attinger had two hits and two RBIs each. Adeline Cripe had a hit and two RBIs at the plate and started a nifty 4-6-3 double play from her spot at second base. Crystabelle Blickenstaff, Jaylyn Layman, Kaia Murray and Goings each had a hit and an RBI. Mackenzie Robinson also contributed an RBI.
Pioneer scored eight runs in the first inning and added seven more in the second. Hailey Cripe, a Kansas signee who led the state in homers in 2019 and 2021, had a single and a double in the first inning and then sailed a three-run homer out to right-center field in the second.
Hailey Cripe also had an infield single in the fourth and an RBI double in the fifth.
Hailey Cripe is also Pioneer’s most experienced returning pitcher, but this time, she was at shortstop while Goings was going on her maiden voyage in the circle while relying on a fastball, change-up and drop ball.
Pioneer coach Gabby Thomas wanted Goings to trust her defense.
“She did well,” Thomas said. “She missed a few, but she hit her spots. And she did exactly what she was supposed to do to have our team be successful. … She spins the ball differently than what Cripe does. That’s good to see different spins and different movements of pitch.”
Webb has impressed Thomas with her throwing arm and instincts at catcher.
“She can throw the ball,” Thomas said. “She’s working behind the plate. She knows her pitchers. There were sometimes where she’s seeing the pitch, and she’s calling it before I’m even calling it. So she’s reading the batters well.”
Thomas also said that baserunning has been emphasized. She said good baserunning often is critical to winning close games.
Farris sets a baserunning standard from the top of the order. She knows that just getting on base is important with Hailey Cripe behind her in the order.
“That’s always a guaranteed two runs,” Farris quipped.
Thomas said that the junior high practices on the field right next to the varsity. They see how hard the varsity works, and that leads to good chemistry between players with state championship experience like Farris, the Cripe sisters, Blickenstaff and Robinson and players with less experience.
“We’ve done a really good job of coming up to each other at school and talking and just getting along outside of softball,” Farris said. “I mean, that’s really helped us do better together on the field. … Last year’s team, we had been playing together since we were 6 years old, travel ball and everything. … So I could throw the ball and know that somebody was going to be there. This year, it’s just all about building that with the younger girls.”
Argos’ Brylee Elliott and Kendra Burkholder had back-to-back singles in the second. Lady Dragons coach Alyssa Thayer credited Pioneer.
Right-hander Aleasia Sarver pitched the first two innings before left-hander Allison Zahm pitched the final three innings.
“I wasn’t upset about tonight,” Thayer said. “I think both of our pitchers pitched well for who we were playing. … Both of them have improved a lot since last year.”
Burkholder is a sophomore catcher. Carleigh Miller, a senior who has played catcher in the past, has been slotted at third base next to freshman shortstop Ava Stackhouse.
“She’s a phenomenal player,” Thayer said of Stackhouse. “I think she’ll do big things over the next four years. … Catcher is actually her primary position, but she can play multiple positions for me as well.”
Pioneer 19, Argos 0
Pioneer 870 22 – 19 17 2
Argos 000 00 – 0 2 4
WP – Shaylee Goings (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)
LP – Aleasia Sarver (2 IP, 10 H, 15 R, 12 ER, 6 BB, 2 K)
2B – Hailey Cripe 2 (PIO), Jaylyn Layman (PIO)
HR – Hailey Cripe (PIO)