Softball: Buckman throws strikes for roaring Lions

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Lone Tree senior pitcher Abby Buckman began her final postseason in July with a no-hitter.

She struck out 16 in the Lions’ 5-0 tournament win against Iowa Valley. She struck out another 10 two days later in a 2-1 victory over Highland.

Lone Tree finished its summer season with a 6-10 record and a loss to Class 1A state quarterfinalist Lisbon on July 17.

But clearly, this was a memorable summer for Buckman and the Lions. Buckman struck out 130 over the season, ranking her ninth in the state. Over four years, Buckman struck out 565 and every year topped 100.

The Lions were stuck in a six-game losing streak when Buckman helped lead them to victories in their first two tournament games. Lisbon, a 20-game winner, was too much for the Lions in the Region 8 semifinals. The Lions fell, 8-2.

That was also the final game for Holley Johnson, a senior outfielder who had a team-leading 20 hits and hit .370 this year. Also finishing out their senior seasons were third baseman Whitney Willoz, shortstop Sara Branson and first baseman Lillian Miller.

Arlie Lorack, a sophomore and the only underclassmen in the infield at second base, led Lone Tree with a .380 batting average. She hit five home runs to lead the Lions.

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