Hermitage, Mo. - Macks Creek's season came to an end on Saturday, as the Lady Pirates fell 3-2 to the Montrose Lady Jays in the Class 1 District 5 Championship.
Trailing 3-0 entering the top of the seventh, Macks Creek put together a rally that plated two runs. Morgan Mashburn lead off the inning with a single before Sydnee Daugherty stroked an RBI-double to right-center, putting the score at 3-1. Juli Hix then placed a sacrifice bunt down the first baseline, which she almost beat out, which moved Daugherty to third. Haley Linton followed with a single up the middle to cut the lead to one. With a 1-2 pitch on eighth-place hitter Brooke Hussey, Linton was put in motion. Hussey smacked a line drive, which the second baseman snagged, and doubled off Linton at first to end the game.
"It became a game of inches in the last inning," Coach Jason Trusty said. "If Brooke's ball is six inches higher, it's in the gap and we can score Haley."
Montrose took a 2-0 lead in the first. A pair of doubles, sandwiching a ground out, plated the first run for the Lady Jays. The second run would cross on a wild pitch and a passed ball.
The Lady Jays would score again in the third. Back-to-back walks by Lady Pirates' starter Jaci Hix put runners at first and second. A ground ball to short, where the throw was just late reaching third for a force, loaded the bases. Jaci induced an infield fly to short on the next pitch for the first out. A walk plated the third Montrose run before a soft liner to first allowed for the runner to be cut off at the plate for out number two. A ground out to second ended the threat.
Jaci Hix took the loss with six innings of three-hit ball. She allowed three runs while striking out three, walking three, and hitting one.
"Jaci did an excellent job of keeping us in the game today," Trusty said. "She trusted her defense behind her and wasn't afraid to challenge the hitters."
Offensively the Lady Pirates were held in check until the seventh. Faith Manning's double in the first was the only hit until that inning. Sydnee Daugherty collected an RBI-double, Haley Linton had an RBI-single, and Morgan Mashburn singled for the fourth Macks Creek hit. Miriah Collins and Brooke Hussey walked in the contest as well. Micah Schmidt reached on a fielder's choice.
"Offensively things were slow, but we definitely came alive in that last inning and showed why we were here," Trusty added.
Macks Creek finishes the season with an overall record of 17-7. Accomplishments include a fourth place finish in the Weaubleau Tournament, second place in the Hermitage Tournament, and as the district runner-up.
Page 2 of 2 - "I'm very proud of my girls and the season that they put together this year. They came out and played as a team night-in and night-out, and they were able to achieve a lot as a group," Coach Trusty said.