SALINA - If ever a grand slam changed the complexion of a game, it was during Pratt's first-round state tournament game against Frontenac Thursday evening in Salina.
Frontenac and Pratt had exchanged big blows through the first four innings. The Raiders jumped on top 2-0 in the first on a home run by senior Lindsey Gorham. Pratt came back with a two-run homer by Savannah Buntemeyer in the third as part of a four-run inning.
Frontenac came within one on an RBI single by senior Samantha Bonner in the fourth. But with the bases loaded in the fifth, Breann Becker crushed a grand slam to lift Pratt to a comfortable lead. The Greenbacks rode that momentum the rest of the game on way to a 10-4 victory.
Frontenac struggled to get consistent hits against Pratt lefty Brittnee Hill, who finished with a whopping 13 strikeouts, nearly all of them swinging. When Frontenac tried to get back some of the momentum in the bottom of the fifth with a bunt single and another base knock, Hill stepped up and struck out the next three batters to squash any chance of a rally.
Hayden Pixler and Becker led off the seventh with base hits. Frontenac made a unexpected relay throw that led to an error and two more runs as Pratt built a 10-3 lead.
Frontenac, which entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed, ends the season with just two losses for a 20-2 record.
Pratt advances to the semifinals to face No. 2 Augusta, which beat Topeka Hayden 12-9. Augusta is one of two undefeated teams in the tournament. Paola (22-0) beat Mulvane 10-4.