CANEY — Humboldt High’s baseball and softball teams put the finishing touches on a pair of spotless regular seasons in fine fashion Thursday.
The Lady Cubs rolled to 18-1 and 17-5 wins over Caney Valley in softball, while the boys crushed Caney Valley, 11-1 and 14-0. Both teams are at 20-0 entering the postseason.
The Cubs have won four consecutive Tri-Valley League baseball crowns, while the Lady Cubs would have won their third straight league title, except they didn’t play enough games last season.
“We were even in the number of losses, but didn’t have enough wins,” Lady Cub head coach Brad Piley said.
But that’s history.
For now, both Humboldt squads showed they’re primed and ready for the upcoming Class 3A Regional Tournament, even with some brutal competition ahead.
“That’s what we want,” Piley said. “If we’re able to play well and advance, a tournament like this will do us some good.”
The Lady Cubs host the regional tournament Tuesday, and will open play against either Central Heights or Jayhawk-Linn. (Those two teams play each other Monday.)
The semifinal winner then faces the winner of the other side of the bracket, featuring Wellsville, West Franklin, Osage City and Erie. While the Lady Cubs are the only unbeaten team in the tournament, Jayhawk-Linn, Wellsville and Osage City all sport records of 16-2 or better.
“It should be fun,” Piley said.
In baseball, Humboldt returns to Caney as the top seed in its regional, and will play either Leon-Bluestem or Eureka. Douglass (15-5) and Caney Valley (12-8) are on the other side of the bracket.
THE LADY CUBS took control from the outset Thursday against the Lady Bullpups, scoring three in the first, eight in the second and seven in the third.
It was more than enough for sophomore sensation Courtney Richey, who allowed one hit and a walk in three innings of work. She struck out three batters. She aided her cause at the plate with a double and RBI.
The big blow was from Kasey Beeman, who bashed a grand slam home run, one of seven extra base hits for Humboldt. Jaci Ross also had a home run and two RBIs. Brook Turner doubled twice, while Kayle Riebel had a double and two RBIs. Mallory Roush also had an RBI double.
The hits kept coming in game 2, as the Lady Cubs erupted for nine in the fourth to break a 3-3 tie. Caney Valley closed the gap to 12-5 in the bottom of the inning before Humboldt sealed the win with a five-run sixth.
Ross was the beneficiary on the mound. She gave up 10 hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
Delaney Umholtz blasted a home run to go with a single and three RBIs. Breanna Kline had four hits, including three doubles, with four RBIs. Turner had a single and double. Richey had a triple, single and two RBIs. Ross singled, and Hannah Hulett had a single, double and two RBIs.
“We had some great plays on defense,” Piley said.
IN BASEBALL action, the Cubs scored four runs in the fours and five in the fifth to coast to an 11-1 win in the opener. Grayson Pearish earned the win, giving up just four hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out seven.
Every Humboldt batter had a hit, run or RBI. Kason Siemens went 4-for-4 with a double, while Caleb Vanatta and Jacob Carpenter both rapped out three hits. Vanatta’s included a triple. Hunter Murrow tripled as well. Pearish added a single, as did Caleb D’Armond and Alex Murrow.
Austin Beeman took the reins in game 2, and shut down the Bullpups on one hit in four innings. He walked two and struck out two. Jake Haviland came on in relief and struck out the side wihtout allowing a hit.
Meanwhile, Carpenter went 3-for-3 with a home run and double. He drove in three. Caleb Vanatta doubled and tripled in two at bats with three RBIs. Alex Murrow singled twice. Hunter Murrow, Zach Vanatta, Pearish and Rayce Hoepker also had singles.
Humboldt led 5-0 after three innings before scoring seven in the fourth to take control.
“It was great to finish the season 20-0 and win our fourth consecutive TVL crown,” Humboldt head coach Mike Miller said. “Grayson and Austin both threw good games, and our offense came through with some big hits. I’m very proud of this group for all they have accomplished. We have bigger goals and we need to refocus and get ready for regionals on Wednesday.”