DESLOGE – The inaugural MAAA Conference regular-season softball championship belongs to the Farmington Knightettes, following a 12-1 rout in six innings over North County on Monday.
The outcome of the game was hanging in the balance until the top of the fifth inning, when Farmington took advantage of several crucial mistakes by Lady Raiders. The Knightettes scored ten runs in the last two innings on with just two hits.
Meanwhile, the Lady Raiders struggled to put runs on the board. Farmington played solid defense and received another fine pitching performance from Jessica Brewer, who won her 12th game of the season.
Brewer surrendered just one run on four hits in the contest, while striking out three and walking two. Kim Still took the loss for the Lady Raiders, but only three of the eight runs scored against her were earned.
North County briefly held the lead after striking for a run in the top of the first. Jenny Boyer roped a perfectly place single between the shortstop and left fielder to begin the rally. After a wild pitch, Still guided an opposite-field single to right, driving in Boyer from second.
Farmington tied the game in the third inning with the help of a North County error. Kristen Hayes stood at second base with two outs. Meghan Halbrook hit a fly ball, but it was dropped, allowing Hayes to score on the play.
North County had a golden opportunity to regain the lead in the third. Brewer walked the first two batters she faced, but battled back to retire the next three hitters to preserve the tie score.
The Knightettes scored what at the time appeared to be a crucial run in the fourth. Marissa Hoehn led off with a line-drive single to left. Hoehn advanced to third base after two wild pitches. After Molly Currington drew a walk, Erin Sales singled into left to score Hoehn for a 2-1 Farmington lead.
A disastrous fifth inning for the Lady Raiders began with a walk to Farmington’s Allison Eller. Halbrook followed with a single to center field, which proved to be the only hit of the inning.
Both runners remained on base with two outs, but Currington drew another walk to load the bases. Sales was hit by a pitch to force home a run to make it 3-1. Savanna Moll followed with a walk to bring in another tally.
Natalie Sago stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter and hit a pop fly behind second base, but the ball was dropped, allowing a run to score. A second runner was hung up between third base and home, but a wild throw went into left field.
Sago was hustling all the way and circled the bases behind Kiersten Rodgers, Sales and Moll. Farmington suddenly led 8-1. The Knightettes tacked on four more runs in the sixth on just one hit, which was an RBI single by Currington.
Hoehn went 2-3 with a RBI to lead the Farmington hitters. Hoehn, Currington, and Sales each reached base three times for the Knightettes. Boyer and Still each went 2-3 at the plate for North County.
The conference season will wrap up today around the area. Farmington (12-6) is on the road at Ste. Genevieve. North County (7-9) will hope to end a four-game skid at home against Central.