TISHOMINGO, OK — The Mineral Area College Lady Cardinals made a bid to return to the NJCAA Div. II National Tournament, but was stopped short by the Murray State College Aggies. The two teams played two games on Friday which they split, and they played a one game -winer take all - on Saturday.
It took only one run to decide the candidate for Nationals, and it was the Aggies who scored it. Three hits in a row in the fourth inning by the Aggies led to the only run. Alex Perry pitched a strong game, striking out seven batters and walking none.
The Aggies pitcher, who lost Friday’s opening game to MAC, kept the Lady Cardinals off-balance and was backed by an immaculate defense. Mineral Area hitters struck out only three times, but they also could only muster three hits as the Aggies put leather on everything hit.
Kelly Kelm, who had hit a double in the third inning, hit a single in the fifth and was joined on base by Beth Winckel, also with a single. It was the team’s only bids to score, and both times the Lady Cardinals came up empty as Aggie outfielders tracked down everything hit into their territory.
On Friday, Perry pitched the Lady Cardinals into contention by throwing a five-hit game for a 5-3 win. Perry struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Danielle Kaempfe and Jessica Bartlett provided the offensive power. Kaempfe was 2-4 with a double and a triple, and Bartlett was 2-4 with a double. Kelm also hit a double, and Emily Blumenthal, Tori Henson and Perry had one single each.
In game two, Murrray State found KJayla Reuss’s pitches more to their liking as they scored five runs on nine hits during her four innings of work. Relief pitcher Jennifer Hackworth gave up two runs on three hits over the last three innings.
Winckel led the team in hitting, going 2-3 with a double, scoring two runs and driving in another. Kempfe and Blumenthal were both 2-4. Trsih Patterson, Kelly Kruse, Henson, and Bartlett all had one single each.
The Lady Cardinals finished their second season at 33-23 with also their second Region 16 championship (details of the District J championship game were not available.)