By Don Eskins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Pleasant Hope Lady Pirate’s bid for a state championship in 2019 fell two games short on Thursday afternoon after absorbing a 6-2 loss to the state’s top ranked Potosi Trojans during quarterfinal round action of this year’s state tournament in Pleasant Hope.
The Pirates fought the No. 1 Lady Trojans tough throughout the contest, but couldn’t generate the hits they needed with runners on base and in scoring position.
“I think Potosi’s pitcher is probably the best pitcher our girls have faced all year. She threw really well,” said Pleasant Hope head coach Kevin McVey. “But our girls never gave up and toward the end of the game they began to figure her out a little bit and got some hits. We just couldn’t bunch enough of them together to get a few more runners across the plate.”
After falling behind 3-0 through the first four and one-half innings of play Pirate second baseman Courtney Jenkins led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple and then scored on an RBI single by Jaydin Lee to cut the Trojan lead to just two runs, 3-1.
Pleasant Hope would score once again in the bottom of the sixth after Lindsey Gettie reached base on a fielder’s choice, was driven to third on a double by Katelyn Stewart and then raced home on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Macie Warner.
But Potosi proved to be a bit too much for Pleasant Hope on Thursday as the Lady Trojans held on to defeat the Pirates 6-2.
Although having to watch their season come to an abrupt end with the loss, McVey said he’s very proud of the effort his girls put out during this year’s spring softball season.
“I’m very proud of our kids and at 27-4 they should be to,” said McVey. “The biggest thing about this year to me though has been that every win was a team win. We never had just one or two girls win games for us; we had to have and got contributions from everybody. That’s how our whole season went and that’s what made it so special.”
But there was also something else, said an emotional McVey, that made the 2019 season special for the Lady Pirates.
“We had three seniors on our team this year – Katelyn Stewart, Courtney Jenkins and Abby Henson – that have meant a great deal to us. Their leadership helped to get us to today’s quarterfinal round of the state playoffs. We could have never gotten this far without them,” said Pleasant Hope’s coach. “They’ve proven to be three great girls, three great workers and three great players. They’re all very special to us around here and we’re going to miss them a bunch.”
“This has been a most memorable season for me and I wouldn’t have wanted to play ball with anybody else,” said Stewart. “We all worked hard and came together to experience a really great season. It’s a season I know I’ll never forget.”
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H
Potosi 0 1 0 2 0 1 2 6 11
P-Hope 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 6
Pleasant Hope- Katelyn Stewart 2/3 (1B, 2B); Lindsey Gettie 1/3 (Scored); Courtney Jenkins 1-3 (3B, Scored) Jaydin Lee 1/3 (1B, RBI); Janae Shirk 1-3 (1B); Macie Warner 0/3 (RBI).
Pitching Results: LP- Jaydin Lee (23-4) 6 ER’s – 11 hits – 0 K’s – 3 walks.