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By Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 10/7/21- It may have been a battle of the Tigers, but Scotland County (6-14 Overall, 3-5 Conference) was playing the role of underdog in a matchup with #1 ranked Canton (17- 4). Coach Riley Lucas knew his team had a daunting task in front of them. “It takes a nearly perfect game to beat that team,” he observed.
Defensive mistakes and inconsistent hitting have plagued Scotland County all season long, but on this day the defense was fairly solid and the hitting was decent. Scotland County had five hits in 27 plate appearances while Canton had six hits in 31 at-bats. Both teams committed four errors apiece.
After a scoreless first inning, Canton broke on top first in the top of the second. Kadee Guilfoyle double to left field to score Kinsey Biggerstaff, who drew a walk. Canton led 1-0 after two innings.
The Canton Lady Tigers scored another two runs in the top of the third inning when Kenzie Guilfoyle picked up an RBI double to score Nariah Clay. Guilfoyle then stole third and came on home on an error, giving Canton the 3-0 lead after three innings.
Canton would pick up another run in the top of the fourth inning when Kadee Guilfoyle once again picked up an RBI. She hit a sac fly to center, scoring Allie Ruffcorn. Canton led 4-0 after four innings.
Scotland County finally got on the board for the only time in the game in the bottom of the fifth. Hannah Feeney reached on an error by Ruffcorn at second base. She later attempted to steal third, and scored on the resulting error on the throw, making it 4-1 Canton.
Canton would pick up one more run in the top of the seventh to ice the game. Macie Fisher reached first on an error and was then stole second. A bunt by Kielyn Ott moved Fisher to third. Fisher then scored when Brooke Brewer hit into a fielder’s choice. That gave Canton their final run and they went on to win 5-1.
Kina Billings and Kwyn Hamlin each went 2/3 at the plate. Abby Doster had a hit as well.
Emma Hultz got the start and the win in a complete game outing for Canton. She faced 30 hitters, striking out nine and walking only one. She allowed five hits and one unearned run.
Hanna Anders started and went the distance for Scotland County. She faced 32 hitters, striking out 11 and walking only one. She allowed five hits and five runs, with only one being earned.
“Hanna pitched a heck of a game tonight,” Lucas said after the game. “It’s not like we got the crap hit out of us with no way to win that game. That was a winnable game.”
Scotland County will next be in action Thursday evening in a district semi-final as the three-seed against the second-seed North Shelby. The game is the second of the evening at host school Canton. The early game starts at 5 pm and the Lady Tigers will play following that at approximately 6:30 pm. The Canton Lady Tigers are the top seed.