West Platte’s Abby Summers concluded the Bluejays’ record-setting year with another no-hitter Monday at West Platte High School in Weston, Mo. The senior ace, committed to Division I Florida International, commanded the circle for the last time at home, finishing the regular season with 333 strikeouts to push her career record to 1,013 in her career. Summers still has a chance to add to her gaudy numbers with district play starting Wednesday, Oct. 8.
Summers has thrown six no-hitters this season, striking out 16 in a 2-0 win against Lathrop in the regular-season finale.
West Platte earned the No. 3 seed in Class 2 District 14 hosted at the Griffon Spring Sports Complex on the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., with an 18-6 mark — already a school record for wins in a season. North Platte earned the No. 1 seed in the same district behind the standout play of University of Missouri-committed outfielder Regan Nash and the steady pitching of junior Victoria Haugsness. The Panthers have a first-round bye thanks to the 23-0 record amassed during the season, and they face the winner of Plattsburg (4-10) and East Buchanan (3-18) in a semifinal scheduled for Oct. 9.
West Platte opens play with a game against Mid-Buchanan (0-15), and the winner advances to the semifinals to face second-seeded Bishop LeBlond (16-9), the defending Class 2 state champions who defeated West Platte 5-0 on Sept. 22.
“The girls are starting to love winning and make it an expectation.” West Platte coach Angelica Maxwell said. “This season has really got the community interested in what we are doing out on the softball field. I teach elementary school computers and technology and it’s fun to have my students tell me, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a softball player like’ and then name one of my high school girls.”
LeBlond won the district last year in come-from-behind fashion. The Golden Eagles scored two unearned runs in the seventh inning to defeat North Platte 2-1 after West Platte pushed them to the brink in semifinals.
Platte County returns to Class 3 District 15 play after spending the last two-year cycle in Class 4 — the state’s largest classification. The Pirates (16-5) earned the top seed in their new bracket and a bye into Oct. 9’s semifinals when they face the winner of Smithville (10-11) and St. Pius X (6-15) in a scheduled 5 p.m. start in Excelsior Springs, Mo.
A win puts Platte County into the championship game scheduled for 11 a.m., Oct. 11.
No. 2 seed Excelsior Springs (13-11), No. 3 seed Richmond (16-10) or No. 6 seed O’Hara (2-16) round out the remaining potential opponents in the field.
Park Hill (12-14) opens Class 4 District 16 play with a game against Oak Park (10-12), scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Oct. 8 at the North Kansas City District Activities Complex located on the campus of top-seeded Staley. The No. 1 Falcons await the winner of the contest for a 5:45 p.m. semifinal on Oct. 9 , which follows the second semifinal between No. 2 seed Park Hill South (15-8) and the winner of Wednesday’s district opener between St. Joseph Central (13-11) and North Kansas City (3-18).
Park Hill South won all of the meetings with its potential semifinal opponents, beating Central twice (8-7 on Sept. 11 and 6-5 on Sept. 29) and NKC once (15-0 on Sept. 26). The championship is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11.
Park Hill South lost last season’s district title game 6-1 to Staley.
“Districts are win or go home, but we just need to approach it like another game,” Park Hill South coach Josh Walker said. “I hope that we play hard and smart. If a team beats us, I’m OK with that; I just don’t want us beating ourselves. Hopefully last year gives us some confidence, and some hunger to finish the job.”