It was a difficult opening weekend for the Laramie Plainsmen softball team, as they dropped both of their games to the two Gillette schools.

Laramie fell to Thunder Basin 7-1 on Friday and lost to Campbell County on Saturday, 3-2.

The visiting Bolts spoiled the Laramie program debut at Aragon Softball Complexes West Field last Friday afternoon. Thunder Basin hit two home runs and used a four-run fifth inning to break open a tight game.

Manager Luke Andrews was very encouraged by what he saw in the opener, despite the loss.

“They’re (Thunder Basin) obviously a good ball team, and they know what they’re doing. They pieced some timely hits together. It just comes down to experience, you know, playing in our first game, while they’re on their seventh, it’s bound to happen, but like I told the girls, we’re right there. At this point, on our side (East Conference), they look like they’re the standard, and for the most part, I thought we came out, and we hung with ‘em.”

Here was the first-ever at-bat in a Laramie High School softball game. LHS was on defense as the home team.

It was 2-0 in favor of the Bolts thanks to a home run by Jacy Piercy in the second inning. It stayed that way until a two-run single by Emma Kimberling and a two-run home run by Macie Selfors in the fifth. Thunder Basin added a run in the seventh on an RBI-sacrifice fly.

Laramie had just two hits in the game. Their only run came after Macy McKinney walked to lead off the inning. She moved to third base on two wild pitches. McKinney scored on an Emilee Sirdoreus RBI-ground out.

Janey Adair was the starting pitcher. She went six innings and finished with 11 strikeouts and only one walk.

Piercy was the winning pitcher for Thunder Basin. She gave up one hit with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Saturday was, unfortunately for Laramie, more of the same in a close loss to Campbell County. LHS struggled with their bats despite being more aggressive at the plate. They finished with three hits in the game.

A two-run double by Missy West gave the Camels a 2-0 lead in the third inning. The game stayed that way until the seventh. A sacrifice bunt scored a run for Campbell County, who extended to a 3-0 lead.

That run proved to be the difference. The Lady Plainsmen got a one-out, two-run home run from McKinney in the bottom of the seventh to straightaway centerfield. That trimmed it to 3-2, but two strikeouts ended the game.

Andrews said, “I was hoping we’d have a little seventh-inning magic (after McKinney’s home run) there. That go-ahead run, that insurance run (was the difference), as we were about a step away from getting an out, and I mentioned to the girls, we were about two seconds away from still playing. They fought hard to the end. They were super-resilient the whole game.”

Adair went the distance as the pitcher. She struck out 12 Camel batters but allowed three runs on six hits. Adair walked four.

Avery Gray tossed a complete game for Campbell County. She gave up the two runs on three hits. Gray had 13 strikeouts and just two walks.

Andrews added that he’s not concerned or discouraged with the start at the plate.

“Just trying to look where we need to improve there. I think our defense is right there at this point. I think they left about 10 runners on base, so we were resilient in that case the entire game. When it comes to the hitting, we’ve just got to make sure that we’re finding ways to manufacture runs, put balls in play, and avoid those strikeouts because those strikeouts, those are the real killers.”

Laramie is scheduled to host Wheatland on Friday, April 16 at 4 p.m., followed by Cheyenne South on Saturday, April 17, at noon.


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