PALMYRA, Mo. – Jill Arch wasn’t sure what kind of performance Palmyra softball pitcher Brooke Lawson would give in her first game in three weeks.
She ended up helping Palmyra deliver a Clarence Cannon Conference title.
Lawson threw five scoreless innings of two-hit ball with 10 strikeouts on the way to beating Centralia 5-0 for the league crown Monday night at Flower City Park.
“We just didn’t know what she’d do,” Arch said. “But that was very positive. This is the first time we’ve won the conference in I don’t know how long.”
It has Palmyra feeling confident with district play beginning later this week.
“This just feels pretty awesome,” Palmyra catcher Megan Stone said. “We couldn’t take any team lightly, and we knew Centralia could try and come back.
“We know conference champs is a big accomplishment, but our end goal is state. We’ll be ready for whoever we get Thursday night.”
Palmyra’s Cameron O’Brien gifted Lawson a 2-0 lead with a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning that scored Abbey Redd and Stone. Bailey Lovelace doubled in the third to bring home O’Brien for a 3-0 advantage.
Eme Ridout’s home run highlighted the sixth inning.
Palmyra had 10 hits, but stranded seven.
“The offense wasn’t quite there,” Arch said. “But it got the job done.”
So did Lydia Althoff, who threw the final two innings. She allowed just one hit while striking out four.
“Throwing Lydia in there to shut them down was really nice,” Arch said. “We’re hoping getting Brooke back means she’s refreshed and Lydia can come in and finish the games off.”