ST. JOSEPH- On a bitterly cold Saturday morning unfit for early October, the Lady Hound softball team watched an up-and-down season get frozen shut with an 11-0 loss to top-seeded Smithville in the district semifinals at Heritage Park.
Smithville (18-9) put up four runs in the first inning and added to it with two in the fourth and two in the fifth before finishing the Hounds off in the sixth with a three-run homer by Kelsey Luebbert.
The Warriors advanced to the district finals where they were defeated by Benton 9-4 later in the day. Maryville finished at 12-13, losing in the semifinals for the second straight year.
"I'm proud to get this far," said Maryville head coach Tom Scarbrough. "We talked about that in the post-game meeting. If you saw our first couple of practices you would think 'oh boy.' But they battled. They all battled all the way through from the start of the season to the end. I'm proud of the girls. They battled and made a great season out of this. We had a lot of fun and that was the objective."
The Warriors scored their 11 runs with 11 hits and three errors and all of the damage was done against Maryville starter Mikaila Wallace who made her final appearance of a sparkling four-year career.
Unaffected by the conditions, Smithville had at least one hit in every inning, including a double, three triples and Luebbert's game-ending three-run blast.
It was the most hits and runs scored against Wallace all season.
"They came out and hit the ball against her," said Scarbrough. "Mikaila is a first-team all-district pitcher and you can't take anything away from her. She did fine."
Smithville starter Rachael Murphy extended her scoreless inning streak to 13 against Maryville with six more shutout innings on top of her seven-inning gem 10 days before in Maryville.
Maryville's offensive output consisted of two singles over six innings.
The two hits came from Jenna Cherkas and Chelsey McMichael.
Maryville never advanced a runner past first and its top four hitters—Mikaila Wallace, McKenzie Wallace, Baylee Scarbrough and Blair Twaddle—went a combined 0-10 with a walk.
"I think in Maryville she was more dominant," said Scarbrough of Murphy. "She kept us off-balance. Here, we put the ball in play better. We just hit it right to them."
Ultimately, the damage was done to Maryville's upset hopes during Smithville's four-run first.
It started with a walk to Smithville's lead-off hitter Makayla Schoonover. An error put runners at first and second with nobody out.
Two batters later, Carmella Sportsman stroked a single that put Smithville up 1-0. Emily Koenig followed with a two-run double to the gap in rightcenter to make it 3-0.
With two outs, Luebbert slapped a single to right that drove in another run.
Wallace kept Smithville off the board in the second and third innings, but the Hounds couldn't cut into the lead any.
Cherkas led off the second with a single, but Murphy struck out the next three Maryville hitters. The Hounds went in order in both third and fourth innings.
In the bottom of fourth, Smithville got a pair of two-out hits from Sportsman and Chelsea Long to go up 6-0. Long's hit was a triple that scored Sportsman from first base.
Back-to-back walks to open the fifth turned into two more runs for the Warriors, both scoring on a double by Brooklyn Bantz.
In the sixth, Sportsman led off with a triple and Long reached on an error.
Luebbert deposited the very next pitch and the final one of Wallace's career over the left center field fence to end it.
"Both pitchers in the first inning were very wild," said Scarbrough. "They both settled in. Unfortunately, before we could get our timely base hit, Smithville had gotten theirs. After that, they just hit the ball when we made subs. And maybe we run some of those down, but it didn't matter. At that point, we were here to have fun and play."
The loss brought an end to the careers of Mikaila Wallace, Scarbrough, McMichael and leftfielder Blair Twaddle, all starters on this year's team. Wallace and Scarbrough have been on varsity all four years and have started the last three.
Pitching through pain most of the year, Wallace started all but one game for the Hounds this year and struck out over 190 batters in 130 innings. She was a unanimous first team all-district pitcher and is considering her college softball options.
A first-team all-district infielder, Scarbrough hit a school-record setting .619 for the season, batting out of the No. 3 hole in the lineup. She plans to continue her softball career at Northwest Missouri State, making her the seventh player in the last three years to move on to the next level.
"It's just been fun to watch them," said Scarbrough. "They play all summer and they play in the fall here, too. It's going to be sad to watch them go, all the seniors. Then again, it's time for the next group to come through. It's time for the girls to start ascending and it will be fine."
Maryville returns second team all-district catcher McKenzie Wallace along with starters Cherkas, Ashton Reuter, Erin Florea and Shyan Dredge. Scarbrough, whose been the team's coach the past two seasons, says he'll decide on his future after holding end-of-the-year meetings.
By Joey Falkoff email@example.com
The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO
By Joey Falkoff firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated Oct. 8, 2012 @ 11:50 pm
» EVENTS CALENDAR
Connect with The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO