Monroe City picked up a pair of wins Saturday to capture the Knox County Tournament.
One characteristic of a good team is the ability to bounce back from a loss.
The Monroe City softball team did just that Saturday.
Coming off a tough 3-1 loss to Clarence Cannon Conference rival Palmyra on Thursday, the Lady Panthers picked up a pair of wins to capture the Knox County Tournament.
It was the second tournament title the Lady Panthers have won this season.
Monroe City (8-1) doubled up South Shelby in the first game, 8-4, before knocking off Canton 5-3 in the championship.
Monroe City came from behind in both wins.
In the first game, South Shelby’s Autumn Blackford socked a pair of 2-run home runs to grow the Lady Cardinals' lead to 4-1. Blackford’s long balls came in the first and third innings.
The Lady Panthers responded with six runs of their own in the last of the third inning to take control of the game.
Freshman Riley Quinn delivered the big hit of the inning with a bases-loaded triple.
Quinn also started inside the circle for Monroe City and pitched four innings to pick up her third win of the season. Only two of the four runs she allowed were earned and she fanned four batters, while scattering four hits.
“I really like the way Riley came out and pitched,” Lady Panthers coach Melissa Chinn said. “We started off a little slow behind her, but our bats really came alive.”
Junior McKenzie West shutdown South Shelby over the final two innings for the save. She did not allow any hits and struck out four.
Lauren Youngblood, Rachel Smith and Quinn all collected two hits to pace the Monroe City 10-hit offensive attack.
Haleigh St. Clair added an RBI double in the win.
The championship game was a rematch of the title game at the Lady Panthers tournament the previous weekend.
Canton, which was shutout by the Panthers in the previous matchup, pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.
But again, Quinn delivered a big hit for the Lady Panthers. The freshman tied the game with a 2-out, 2-run double in the home half of the frame. Another freshman, Bailee Hays, followed with an RBI single for a 3-2 lead.
“Riley has been hitting the ball great,” West said of her teammate. “It has helped us a ton and her hits today against South Shelby and Canton were crucial. It’s nice to know when she gets up there she can clear the bases.”
Canton tied the contest with a single tally in the top of the third.
Then West took over.
The Lady Panthers lead-off batter smacked the game-winning 2-run home run over the center-field fence in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“That second game was just a battle. But Mack’s home run really made it a great win,” Chinn said. “I thought we played well and it was just another great team win.”
West mentioned the long ball caught her off guard a little bit.
“I have been working on my hitting a lot, so I knew I had the potential but it still surprised me a little,” the star said. “But I remember going up there thinking it would be nice to get a couple runs when I was up there to bat and it was nice to finally get a decent hit when we needed it.”
Skyler Kauble rounded out the Panthers hits with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate.
Chinn mentioned it’s nice to see players contributing up and down the Lady Panthers lineup.
“I really like that we have different girls stepping up for us every game,” the Lady Panthers coach said. “It just makes the wins a little sweeter knowing different people can step up and do their jobs.”
Monroe City travels to Hannibal for a non-conference clash on Tuesday.