MONROE CITY, Mo. | The Monroe City softball team defeated Hannibal 6-2 at home behind a solid performance by Riley Quinn on the mound and the plate.
Quinn pitched seven innings with two strikeouts, while allowing six walks, three hits and two earned runs to earn the win. She also had three hits, a double, a run scored and an RBI.
Quinn ran into some early trouble, allowing a run in both the first and second inning, but settled in as the game went on.
“I think our defense, especially our shortstop (McKenzie Moss) had a great game tonight,” said Monroe City head coach Melissa Chinn. “She really helped the pitcher out just doing her job. It's good to see when you have your defense (playing well), your pitcher feels a little more relaxed and can pitch her game.”
Hannibal took an early lead in the first inning when shortstop Chloe Simms scored off a sacrifice RBI from Alyssa Hart. Monroe City answered back in the bottom half of the inning, with a Bailey Hays RBI double that scored Moss and a Quinn single that scored Hays.
Pirates first baseman Emilee Wilson led off the second inning with a double and later scored on a double play to tie the game at 2-2.
The Panthers tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning with RBI doubles from Adriona White and
Belle Clark that scored Quinn and Jacie Johnson.
Monroe City would add two more insurance runs in the sixth inning with a Johnson sacrifice RBI that scored Quinn and a two-out double from White, who would later score on an error.
“I think our bats were amazing tonight,” Chinn said. “That really helped and that always settles a pitcher down when you're hitting well. We had lots of girls do that tonight.”
Hannibal made a late charge in the top of seventh inning, loading the bases with one out, but were unable to come up with a key hit.
“We had three hits and it's hard to win any ballgame at any level with that,” said Hannibal head coach Andrew Pollard. “We had opportunities with the bases loaded with less than two outs in the top of the seventh, and we had … the top of the lineup and just were not able to execute.”
Hannibal was without seniors Sydney Hart and Adrya Nichelson for Tuesday's game, and started Alina Hays and Ryleigh Butler in their places.
Pollard said that Hart and Nichelson are not only the one-two punch at the top of the lineup, but are among the best defenders on the team.
“We had a first time starter in Ryleigh (Butler) at second base and she played great and gave us opportunities at the plate,” Pollard said. “Alina was only getting her second start on varsity in right field, and had a great play almost throwing out somebody at third base. They stepped up when they were needed.”
Kylie McAfee started the game for Hannibal and was the losing pitcher and going six innings with four strikeout, while allowing 11 hits, no walks and four earned runs.
These two teams previously met this season at the Monroe City tournament on Sept. 5, with Hannibal coming away with a 3-2 win.
One difference was the Panthers started their ace Quinn, with the last game being started by Kailynn Fuemmeler.
“Once you see a team once … I think that helped us,” Chinn said. “We were on their toes and we knew what we were facing tonight. We knew what kind of pitcher (Hannibal) had.”
Pollard said the familiarity between the two teams was something Hannibal tried to use as an advantage when they could.
“I think that's what allowed both of us to compete as good as we could,” Pollard said. “Knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses with what the batters are going to do. We were just happy to put on a good show for the fans, especially missing (two starters).”
Monroe City moves to 6-2 for the season and will play at South Shelby on Thursday and host Palmyra on Saturday. Hannibal is now 3-6 and will play at Clark County on Wednesday and Marshall on Saturday