October 14, 2010

Softball Season Comes to End With 1-0 Loss in District Semifinals

The move from 40-feet back to 43-feet pitching distance in Missouri high school softball in 2010 transitioned the game more toward offense. However, fans at the Class 1 District 11 Tournament may have felt like they traveled back in time as they witnessed a pair of spectacular pitching duels.

After advancing to the semi-finals with a 1-0 victory over Canton on Wednesday night, Scotland County locked horns in another similar performance the next night against top ranked Knox County.

Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers, their season came to an end in extra innings as The Eagles plated an unearned run to break 0-0 deadlock and advance to the district title match.

A night after freshman Bethany Rader blanked Canton to keep the SCR-I season alive, sophomore Megan Creek matched the performance against the Eagles.

The home team threatened in the first inning with runners at second and third before Creek ended the frame with a strikeout.

Unfortunately SCR-I was unable to mount any scoring threats of its own. Skyler Alderton reached on an error to open the second inning, but was stranded at second base. The senior had a one-out single in the fourth and made it all the way to third base but was unable to score.

Knox County loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning, but Creek struck out the next two batters to keep the shutout intact.

She put out another fire in the seventh, when the first two batters reached base, before she came through with a pair of strike outs.

But Knox County finally broke through in the eighth inning. The leadoff hitter reached when a bunt was mishandled. After stealing second base, the run came around to score when another bunt was fielded, and the throw sailed past first base.

Scotland County was held to just three hits over eight innings. Creek was 1-4 and Alderton and Loren Smith were 1-3.

Creek gave up just three hits and walked one while striking out 14.

Shes pitched a lot of games for us in her two seasons, but that was the best Ive ever seen her throw, said Coach Kim Small in praise of the performance.

Scotland County finished the season with a 7-8 record.

North Shelby defeated Knox County 5-3 in extra innings to claim the district title on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Raiders (16-7) will take on LaPlata in the first round of the state playoffs.

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