By Angie Brushwood
Ash Grove, Mo. – The Stockton Lady Tigers defeated the Ash Grove Lady Pirates 7-4 Monday, busting out a 6-0 third inning that knocked the Lady Pirates flat until the bottom of the seventh. The Lady Pirates attempted a comeback by scoring four in the seventh, but it was too little too late.
The Lady Pirates and Lady Tigers held each other scoreless until the top of the third when the Lady Tigers came out swinging. Harlly Gray and Alexia Smith got to base with back-to-back singles, and Amie Garver brought them home on a two-RBI double, making it 2-0. Lauren Rhodes scored Garver on a double, pushing that lead to 3-0. Then Kenadee Cargill hit a double, followed by an RBI single by Kaitlyn Creek, scoring Rhodes for a 4-0 advantage.
Lady Pirates pitcher Hailey Woods struck out the next hitter, one of five strikeouts by Woods on the night. Ireland Smith took the plate for the Lady Tigers with two runners on base and two outs on the board. Smith came through for Stockton, scoring Creek and Cargill on a single. The Lady Pirates finally fielded the next hit, putting a stop to the streak but trailing 6-0.
Stockton coach Lisa Kenney knew the Lady Tigers needed a great inning like this one.
“That’s when we broke it open,” said Kenney. “We’ve had a hard time getting our bats rolling together. We needed that inning bad. The last few games, we’re staggering hits here or there, and we’re not really putting it all together. Tonight we just managed to get it all together.”
The Lady Tigers put another run on the board in the top of the seventh with another run for Garver, this time on an RBI double by Creek.
Finally in the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Pirates showed their skills.
Patsy Gorski slammed a hit to the back fence for a double, and Kenzie Connell brought her home on an RBI triple, cutting it to 7-1. Josie Barnett’s next at-bat scored Connell, and it was 7-2. Abbey Lanter and Riley Hammons filled bases on a hit and a walk, loading the bases for the Lady Pirates.
The Lady Tigers fielded a steal attempt at home and a fly ball, but the Lady Pirates scored on a walk with bases loaded to pull within four. Riley Hammons scored the Lady Pirates’ fourth and final run, stealing home before Creek struck out the last batter, securing the final.
Ash Grove coach Lieren Doyle was disappointed in the late showing for the Lady Pirates.
“We just started playing softball a little bit too late today,” said Doyle. “We made a lot of errors and silly mistakes early, which cost us. We shouldn’t have let them score seven runs, but we did try to make a comeback. We’re definitely going to work on some base running issues, field issues, and teamwork issues, and work out those kinks.”
Stockton will host Skyline on Thursday, April 13. Ash Grove Grove faces Crane on Tuesday.
Kenadee Cargill, 1 run
Kaitlyn Creek – RBI, RBI double, 1 run, pitched 7 innings (5 strikeouts)
Amie Garver – 2xRBI double, 2 runs
Harlly Gray – 1 run
Lauren Rhodes – RBI double, 1 run, catcher 7 innings
Alexia Smith – 1 run
Ireland Smith – 2xRBI single
Josie Barnett, RBI
Kenzie Connell, RBI triple, 1 run, catcher 7 innings
Patsy Gorski, 1 run
Riley Hammons, 1 run
Abbey Lanter, 1 run
Hailey Woods, pitched 7 innings
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