The Lady Panthers picked up a 17-2 win over the Lady Tigers in the Class 2 District 7 quarterfinals.
The Mark Twain softball team has been plagued by allowing one big inning during most losses this season. Wednesday evening another one ended the Lady Tigers' season.
Monroe City sent 18 batters to the plate in the bottom of the third inning and pushed across 13 runs. The final tally of the inning enforced the mercy rule as the Lady Panthers picked up a 17-2 win over Mark Twain in the second quarterfinal game of the Class 2 District 7 Tournament at Lions Club Field.
With the win Monroe City improves to 20-3 and advances to face Highland in Thursday’s semifinals. Mark Twain ends the season with a 3-19 record.
“It seems like when we have a bad inning it's a really tough one,” Mark Twain coach Kachina Hudson said. “And the bottom of the third inning was really tough. We just have to be able to play full games.”
Bailee Hays reached first on a fielding error to start the last of the third inning. Fellow freshman Riley Quinn followed with the first of two doubles in the frame. Eight hits and 13 runs later, the Lady Panthers advanced.
“Our bats looked good tonight,” Monroe City coach Melissa Chinn said. “I just hope we can continue that tomorrow night.”
McKenzie West and Lauren Youngblood collected three hits a piece. Youngblood recorded three RBIs, while West added two RBIs and scored four runs.
The Lady Panthers pounded out 13 hits in the win and reached base six more times on walks.
Mark Twain missed an opportunity for an early lead. The Lady Tigers loaded the bases in the top of the first inning but could not come up with the big hit.
“It would have been nice to get a couple runs there in the first inning and put the pressure on them,” Hudson said. “If we score a run or two there, you just never know how the rest of the game goes.”
Monroe City scored two in the home half of the first. Youngblood collected an RBI single before Hays hit a sacrifice fly.
Haleigh St. Clair scored in the third inning on a wild pitch before Skyler Kauble (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) singled home West for a 4-0 lead.
But Mark Twain didn’t give in.
Sara Spoonhower picked up her second hit of the game with an RBI single in the top of the third to pull the Lady Tigers to within 4-1. Spoonhower would later score on a wild pitch cutting the Lady Panthers lead to 4-2.
“The first second and top of the third innings looked promising,” Hudson said. “Trailing 4-2 didn’t look like anything we couldn’t overcome. And Sara had a good game for us. Ever since the first couple weeks of the season she has really been making solid contact with the ball just about every time at bat.”
Then the Lady Panthers offense got going.
“For whatever reason it seems to always take us an inning or two to get warmed up,” Monroe City senior Rachel Smith said. “But our bats got hot and hopefully we can put up some more runs tomorrow night.”
Quinn picked up the win for the Lady Panthers. It was the freshman’s second win over Mark Twain this season.
Quinn struckout four batters and allowed three hits in her three innings of work.
Smith mentioned she is happy to have a chance to play Highland again. The Lady Panthers fell to Highland last week, 5-0.
“We are excited to play them,” Smith said. “The loss last week gave us a chance to kind of reset. We came into the game thinking we could just win. But the loss served as good refresher for us.”
Palmyra will play Clark County in Thursday’s first semifinal game beginning at 4 p.m. Palmyra is the top seed, while Clark County defeated Louisiana 13-3 Wednesday evening.
LADY PANTHERS 17, LADY TIGERS 2 (3)
Mark Twain 002 -- 2 3 2
Monroe City 22(13) -- 17 13 0
MARK TWAIN (3-19): Sydnee Brothers (L), Sara Spoonhower (3) and Spoonhower, Cheyenne Ross (3). Top hitter: Spoonhower 2-for-2 RBIs.
MONROE CITY (20-3): Riley Quinn (W) and Bailee Hays. Top hitters: McKenzie West 3-for-3 2 RBIs; Lauren Youngblood 3-for-3 3 RBIs; Skyer Kauble 2-for-3 2 RBIs; Riley Quinn 2-for-3 2 RBIs. 2B: Quinn 2, Youngblood, Rachel Smith. 3B: Kauble.