SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Despite playing two hours earlier than originally hoped, the Potosi softball team ended its greatest season to date with smiles and a victory.
The Lady Trojans rallied past Mt. Vernon 2-1 on Saturday at Killian Sports Complex to capture third place in the MSHSAA state tournament.
Emma Eaton and Sami Huck each went 2-for-3 offensively, and Sydney Litton pitched six strong innings with eight strikeouts for the Lady Trojans (21-2).
Potosi was 60 feet away from reaching the title game before falling to eventual champion Lincoln on Friday night, but rebounded for a positive conclusion in Springfield.
Sophomore Jaci Short delivered an opposite-field, go-ahead double to right in the bottom of the fifth as Huck scored her second run of the contest.
Huck singled and stole second base with two outs against opposing hurler Katelyn Kutlarz after previous batter Kennedy Coleman was thrown out trying to stretch a single.
Litton (6-1) scattered five hits and two walks to collect the win, and capped her performance by working around a one-out single by Michaela McChesney in the top of the sixth.
Huck returned to the circle after fanning 14 in defeat on Friday, and struck out all three Cardinals faced in the seventh for the save.
Optimism will again be supreme in the spring of 2020 with eight starters projected to return. Potosi bids farewell to graduating second baseman Kylee Price and right fielder Kaitlyn Hays.
Mt. Vernon (21-11) snapped a scoreless tie during the third inning, but missed a golden opportunity for a more productive outburst.
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Hadley Cornell drew a leadoff walk, Lyndsey Hood bunted for a hit and Madison Schubert connected for an RBI double. An ensuing bunt then loaded the bases with no outs.
Litton fired back with consecutive strikeouts before fielding a ground ball to escape further damage. She went on to retire 10 batters in a row.
Kutlarz produced six of her eight total strikeouts during a dominant first trip through the Potosi lineup. She likewise minimized a dangerous situation in the fourth inning.
Huck singled and Short walked before both advanced with stolen bases. A bunt single by Eaton did not draw a throw to first, giving the Lady Trojans three aboard with one out.
Hannah Jarvis followed with a ground ball that could have tied the game, but Eaton was ruled out due to interference with the second baseman.
After Price coaxed an important walk to force home the tying run, Kutlarz induced a ground ball from Catie Mosier to keep the tally at 1-1.
Potosi squandered singles by Eaton and Price in the sixth, and outhit Lincoln 7-5 overall. Freshman pinch-runner Chelbi Poucher had one of their five stolen bases.
The Lady Trojans started off the season 14-0 to earn a statewide No. 1 ranking, and picked up their first MAAA regular-season and district titles on a journey to the final four.
They scored at least nine runs in 17 of their wins this spring.
Lincoln defeated Kennett 8-3 for the state crown after scoring five times in the eighth inning. Potosi beat runner-up Kennett 11-5 in April.