A matchup between the top two ranked teams in next week’s Missouri Class 1 District 12 Tournament had the feel of a preview for a state playoff bid until the seventh inning when Scotland County’s Achilles heel was taken advantage of.
Ashleigh Creek held Canton (20-2), the top seed in next week’s tourney, in check through the first two innings in Memphis on Thursday night. She retired the first six batters she faced, until the third when an error opened the door for a pair of unearned runs.
SCR-I threatened in the bottom of the frame with two-out base hits by Chelsea Wood and Creek, but the Lady Tigers were unable to force a run across.
Scotland County worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth and eliminated a double in the fifth with a perfect relay from Miranda Holland to cutoff Abi Feeney, who gunned down the runner at third.
The home squad finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Holland doubled and scored on a base hit by Stevi See. Maddie Brassfield followed with a base hit, but SCR-I could not push across the tying run and trailed 2-1 heading into the seventh.
That’s when Canton coach and former SCR-I graduate Kirsten Johnston, turned to a small-ball attack that has troubled the SCR-I defense all year. A lead off base hit as followed by four straight bunts. When the smoke cleared, Canton had pulled ahead 8-1 after batting around in the frame.
Kaylyn Anders narrowly missed a home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh. She doubled and Wood walked in front of a two-run hit by Creek that made the final score 8-3.
Creek went 2-4 at the plate with two RBIs. See, Brassfield, Anders and Wood were all 1-3.
Creek was tagged for eight runs, six earned, on nine hits and one walk while striking out four.
Scotland County, the #2 seed in the district tourney, dropped to 10-8 on the season.