MONROE CITY, Mo. | Monroe City starting pitcher Riley Quinn helped pitch the Panthers to a 4-2 victory over Clark County at home on Tuesday, but she almost did not get the start.
Monroe City head coach Melissa Chinn almost went with a different pitcher to start Tuesday's game. At the last minute, she made a change to the lineup to insert Quinn as the pitcher.
The decision paid off with Quinn striking out 12 Clark County batters and earning her second win of the season.
“She came out on fire tonight,” Chinn said. “I thought she looked really strong and she just did a heck of a job.”
Quinn did run into some early trouble in the second and third innings, with the Indians scoring a run in each frame. Clark County's Erin Bash came through with an RBI single in the second inning and Ally Fox scored on an error in the third inning.
After a couple of hiccups in the early innings, Quinn buckled down and only allowed two base runners the remaining four innings of the game.
The Panthers started the bottom of the fourth inning with a leadoff double from Emily Freidank and an one-out walk from Quinn. Kailynn Fuemmeler hit a single to drive in Freidank, followed by a sacrifice RBI from Jacie Johnson to tie the game at 2-2.
In the top of the fifth inning, Monroe City center fielder Carly Youngblood made a diving catch to end the frame. She then hit a leadoff home run in the bottom half of the fifth to give the Panthers their first lead of the game.
Monroe City added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Mackenzie Moss scored on an error.
Chinn said the key to taking the lead was knocking Clark County starting pitcher Ashtyn Ebeling out of the game after four innings. Alexis Ellison replaced her and pitched the remaining two innings for the Indians.
“We struggle with slow pitching,” Chinn said. “We do very well with fast pitching and these girls all hit fast pitches. When (Clark County) made the change, they were excited to see who was out there because they thought they could hit her really well.”
Monroe City moves to a 3-2 record after Tuesday's win against Clark County.
Tuesday's game was the first of a three-game stretch in three days for Monroe City, as they played Mark Twain on Wednesday and play Palmyra on Thursday.
“We just need to keep rolling because that's two big games, especially (conference opponent) Palmyra,” Chinn said. “Mark Twain is not a conference game, but we still want to get that W.”