Laramie softball drops doubleheader to No. 2-ranked Thunder Basin

May 5—Inconsistent defense combined with productive at-bats from No. 2-ranked Thunder Basin led to an 0-2 day for the Plainsmen

Laramie High's softball team fell 16-3 in the conference portion of Saturday's games at the Sandy Aragon Softball Complex. LHS lost 10-6 on the backend of the doubleheader.

"They hit the ball," Plainsmen coach Luke Andrews said. "We played OK defensively, but they found a lot of gaps. We put a lot of balls in play too, and they just seem to find more gloves."

In Game 1, the Bolts hung a three spot in the run column during the first inning. Natalie Clonch, Missy West and Allie Rodgers all reached base and scored in the frame.

LHS wasted no time responding, and saw a leadoff single from senior Hailey Loya, a single from Page Kuhn and a walk to start the rally. Classmate Emilee Sirdoreus ripped a line drive single to left field scoring Loya.

"(A change to the lineup came because) we needed to get our bats going," Andrews said. "It's been fairly consistent the last few games with the one through five spots. They've been finding production."

Free passes hurt the Plainsmen in the second, allowing Thunder Basin runs to cross home plate. The Bolts' Izzy Carter reached first by walk and advanced to third on an LHS error that also saw Macie Selfors reach second.

With Clonch at-bat, Carter scored on a passed ball advancing Selfors to third in the process. Clonch then grounded out to second scoring Selfors.

"We knew they would hit the ball," Kuhn said. "We needed to come out and play good defense. Unfortunately, we didn't do a good enough job performing in that way and they out-hit us."

Timely defense by the Plainsmen helped avoid a crooked inning in the third. Laramie got out of a bases-loaded jam with a triple play.

Kuhn caught a line drive at second base, and fired a quick throw to first nailing a runner as she dove into the bag for the second out. Senior first baseman Brooklyn McKinney threw across the diamond for the third out after a Thunder Basin runner ran home without tagging up.

Unfortunately for LHS, Bolts' pitcher Fallon Wilkerson stopped their momentum in it's tracks with a three-up-three-down inning in the circle. In the top of the fourth inning, Laramie saw it's second webgem type play.

A deep fly ball from Smith saw Loya track to the centerfield wall. Loya leaped in the air and caught the ball before crashing down on top of the temporary fence and holding on for the out.

Thunder Basin's offense broke through over the next two innings, posting 11 runs in the process. The Bolts connected for nine hits over that span, and were helped out by a pair of Plainsmen errors.

Laramie scratched two runs back in the fifth after Kuhn slugged a leadoff solo homerun to right-center field. An out later, senior Marisol Gomez, McKinney and junior Madalyn Doser had consecutive walks to load the bases.

Milam singled to centerfield scoring Gomez. The Plainsmen were unable to score in the sixth which resulted in the loss.

"(The pitch I hit) was an outside fastball," Kuhn said. "I saw it really well out of the hand, and I tracked it (deep into the zone) hitting it mostly deep center."

Kuhn was credited with the loss in the circle, allowing five runs (two earned) on three hits while striking out two and walking four over two innings of work. Junior Calli Cass tossed three innings of relief allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits with a pair of walks.

Junior Amanda Kricken was brought in to pitch the sixth and spanned 2/3 of an inning allowing six earned runs on six hits and a walk. LHS coach Luke Andrews called on freshman Delaney Suloff to stop the bleeding and record the final out of the frame.

"(Suloff's) future is very bright," Andrews said. "She's got a lot of upside and I anticipate her starting varsity games for us very soon."

Added Kuhn: "(Delaney) is going to be a huge asset moving forward for Laramie. She's one of the better pitchers on our staff and I think she could even earn a starting spot next season."

In game two, LHS jumped out to a three-run lead in the first inning. Gomez' two-RBI single scored Loya and Kuhn and later scored on a single from sophomore Rachel Dean.

Seven Thunder Basin players reached base giving the Bolts a 4-3 lead in the second inning. However, the Plainsmen answered with another three-run spot on the scoreboard.

Kricken's leadoff single was later capitalized by an error allowing Loya to reach base. Two walks from Bolts' pitcher Allie Rodgers loaded the bases.

Gomez and Doser had back-to-back singles to put Laramie back in the lead. Unfortunately, Thunder Basin retook the lead in the next half inning and added insurance in the fourth and sixth innings to take a 10-6 lead.

Kricken took the loss in the circle, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) on 12 hits with two strikeouts and zero walks. Cass tossed 2/3 of an inning in relief, allowing a hit.

The Plainsmen (9-12 overall, 4-6 East Conference) will play a doubleheader on the road against Cheyenne Central on Tuesday at 3 and 5 p.m.

Austin Edmonds covers Laramie High, University of Wyoming and community athletics for WyoSports. He can be reached at Follow him on X at @_austinedmonds.