MONROE CITY, Mo. | The Monroe City Panthers softball team won for the second day in a row on Wednesday, defeating the Mark Twain Tigers 11-1 at home.
Panthers center fielder Carly Youngblood had two hits, two runs, a walk and a three-run home run in the win over Mark Twain. It was her second home run in the past two days, both coming in the fifth inning.
“It feels really good,” Youngblood said. “I'm been hitting really solid and some at bats are different than others, but those two were definitely some strong hits. I'm really happy that we had (two) girls on, so I could bring some more runs in.”
Youngblood set the tone in the first inning, when she led off with a walk and later scored on a throwing error. Monroe City would score two more runs in the inning when Bailey Hays hit a triple to drive in Mackenzie Moss and Emily Freidank.
Monroe City went with a patient approach at the plate when Mark Twain starting pitcher Molly Hill struggled with her control early in the game.
“For most of us, we just had to watch and wait for our pitch,” Youngblood said “For the first two innings, we just didn't see them, but we found a way on base.”
Hill settled in the next three innings, only allowing one run in the third inning, when Monroe City's Jacie Johnson hit a double to drive home catcher Bailee Hays.
The Tigers loaded the bases in the fourth inning with one out, but only came away with one run in the frame. Mark Twain's Emily Evans drew a walk that scored Taylor Martin, bringing the deficit to only three runs.
The bottom of the fifth inning would be the turning point in the game, with Monroe City scoring five runs. Lucy Smith singled to drive in Riley Quinn and Kailynn Fuemmeler to put the Panthers up 6-1. Later in the inning, Youngblood connected with a three-run home run.
“It seems like how we've been playing lately, is they're not going to open it up until the fourth or fifth inning,” said Monroe City head coach Melissa Chinn. “I don't like that, but they are getting the job done and that's what matters.”
The game was called in the sixth inning after a Smith hit a single to drive in two more runs, giving Monroe City a 10-run lead.
Fuemmeler earned the win after pitching six innings with six strikeouts, while only allowing four hits, one walk and one run.
“(Fuemmeler) is just one of those pitchers who hits her spots and she is going to do her job,” Chinn said. “I thought she pitched very well. She had a good game.”
Hill went five innings for the Tigers, pitching to two batters in the sixth inning before being relieved by Madison Epperson. Hill had five strikeouts, while allowing nine hits, nine walks and 11 runs.
Rain prior to the game led to muddy field conditions, which Chinn said made the game sloppy.
“We are an aggressive (team) and today we had to be a little cautious,” Chinn said. “I'm glad that we got the game in and got the W.”
Monroe City moves to 4-2 after Wednesday's game, while Mark Twain is now 0-4.
Both teams had Thursday night games, with Monroe City hosting Palmyra and Mark Twain traveling to Bowling Green. Next up for Monroe City is a Monday game at Paris, and Mark Twain will host Silex on Tuesday.