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By Mark Requet
The South Shelby Lady Birds lost to Brookfield in the first-round game and won the final two games against Knox County and Hannibal to win the Consolation Trophy of the Monroe City Tournament on Saturday, September 2. Two first round games and the Consolation side of the bracket were held at South Shelby High School, while the Championship side of the bracket was held at Monroe City.
Lady Birds 5
In the first-round game, the Lady Birds lost 9-5 against Brookfield in five innings.
South Shelby jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning with two quick runs, highlighted by an RBI single by Madison Wilt. Wilt would also come around to score later in the inning on an error to give the Lady Birds a 2-0 lead.
Brookfield responded with four runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-2 lead.
The Lady Birds tied the game in the top of the second inning with two runs, taking advantage of several errors by the Lady Bulldogs. Kamryn Mitchell singled home a run and Bella Cook’s steal of home tied the game at 4-4.
Brookfield wasted no time to retake the lead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second inning, then adding two runs in the bottom third inning to build the lead to 9-4.
The Lady Birds final run came in the top of the fifth inning when Mitchell singled, stole second, and scored on an RBI double by Wilt.
Mitchell had two hits, two runs scored, one RBI, and three stolen bases. Wilt finished with two hits, one run scored, three RBIs, and one stolen base.
Cassidy Curtis started on the mound, pitching one-third of an inning, allowing four runs, three earned runs, on three hits. She walked one batter. Callie McWilliams pitched one and two-thirds of an inning, allowing five runs, four earned runs, on two hits. She walked five and struck out one batter. Kylie Million pitched two innings, walking two and striking out two.
Knox County 0
Lady Birds 10
With the loss in the first round, the Lady Birds dropped into the Consolation Bracket and squared off against Knox County. The Lady Birds took care of business and won 10-0 in five innings.
Sofie Eleazarraraz jump started the offense in the bottom of the first with a leadoff triple. Mitchell followed with a walk and stole second base. McWilliams singled to bring home one run. Wilt grounded out to score another run. Two batters later, Larissa Larrick reached on an error allowing a third run to score. Larrick advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by Jayda Lanpher. The Lady Birds led 4-0 after the first inning.
South Shelby added two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Mitchell walked, stole second and third base, then scored on an RBI single by McWilliams. Harlie Fuller added an RBI single later in the inning to give the Lady Birds a 6-0 lead after two innings.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Lady Birds scored a run on an error and an RBI triple by McWilliams to build the lead to 8-0 after three innings.
Larrick and Lanpher each added RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Lady Birds a 10-0 lead, which would be the final.
McWilliams led the Lady Birds with three hits, a triple, one run scored, three RBIs, and two stolen bases. Larrick and Lanpher each added two hits.
Curtis pitched five shutout innings, allowing only three hits, one walk, and struck out seven batters.
Lady Birds 12
The Lady Birds advanced to face Hannibal in the Consolation Game and won 12-2 in six innings.
South Shelby, once again, scored in the bottom of the first inning with three runs, highlighted by an RBI single by Fuller and an RBI double by Larrick.
Hannibal scored two runs in the top of the second inning to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Lady Birds responded with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. McWilliams had an RBI single, which was followed by an RBI triple from Wilt. Fuller singled to drive in Wilt and the Lady Birds led 6-2 after two innings.
South Shelby added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning on an error and an RBI groundout and led 8-2 after three innings.
The Lady Birds scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and a two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth inning by Eleazarraraz clinched the 12-2 win.
Eleazarraraz led the Lady Birds with three hits, including a triple, two runs scored, three RBIs, and two stolen bases. Fuller and Larrick each added two hits.
Curtis pitched six innings, allowing two unearned runs on three hits. She walked four and struck out one batter.
With one full week of play in the books, South Shelby Coach Sarah Elliott was happy with the fight in her team.
“The team has come out with a fighting spirit. The girls have given, in each game, there all right down until the very last inning,” said Elliott. “This has definitely shown in our conference game against Brookfield where we scored six runs in the sixth inning to try to rally back. It wasn’t enough to get us a win, but we never gave up.”
The Lady Birds have two losses this season, both to Brookfield. Elliott said they have played hard and have not beaten themselves with mental mistakes.
Elliott added that her pitching staff is still working out some kinks and the hitters have come a long way all summer.
“We have great speed around the bases along with aggressive and smart baserunning that helps us manufacture runs,” said Elliott. “As we go further into the season, we are constantly trying to improve our pitching and our hitting. We have a pretty solid defense that doesn’t let much by them.”
The Lady Birds, 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the Clarence Cannon Conference, host Marceline on Tuesday, September 5, and host Elsberry on Wednesday, September 6. They travel to Marion County on Thursday, September 7, and host LaPlata on Monday, September 11. All games begin at 5 p.m.