Does Monett have a growing dynasty? “I’d be OK with that.” said Goetz. “We have a great group of girls that don’t want to lose.” What Monett definitely does have is back to back district titles, and their third since 2004.
The Lady Cubs rode the pitching and hitting of sophomore Allie Krueger, who has returned after missing much of the season due to injury. Despite pitching in last year’s district title game, the lack of reps made this one different for Krueger.
“I was a little nervous last year but this year I was especially nervous because I knew that I hadn’t been pitching as long. I knew I really had to focus and get back to where I used to be.” And focus she did going the distance, striking out seven, while only allowing three hits.
Monett took the lead with a two-out rally in the first. First baseman Kelsey Wiseman singled and took second on a wild throw back to the infield. Abby Krueger then drove her home with a single to stake her twin sister Allie to a 1-0 lead.
The only moment when Krueger didn’t seem to be totally in control was the third inning. After sending down Carl Junction in order in the first two innings, the Lady Bulldogs Arista Pattyson led off with a double, went to third on a pass ball, then scored on Sundy English’s RBI single. Monett avoided further damage when Monett center fielder Raigan Ratliff made a tough running catch of a drive hit into the left field gap.
Krueger would then dig in. “I just kept throwing, I started to really focus and hit my spots a lot better, she said.”
CJ would only get three more base runners the rest of the game.
Monett would take the lead for good in the fifth as Ratliff scored on a sacrifice fly from Josie Krueger. Allie Krueger would give herself some breathing room in the bottom of the sixth as her two-out single brought home Andrea Soriano and Brooke Madison.
The 4-1 lead was more than enough as Krueger got two strikeouts and a game ending flyball to nail down a second consecutive district championship. “That was our goal going into the season,” said Goetz. Hopefully we can roll with this and keep moving on.”
Monett will get their chance to move on as they host the sectional game Wednesday against Bolivar.