|Few things in the sporting world ever live up the hype. However, last Friday's Missouri Class 2 District 10 softball championship game between Pierce City and Purdy surpassed all expectations.||Like two heavyweight fighters each team traded blows, taking their opponents best shot and when the dust finally settled the Pierce City Lady Eagles were left standing with a 11-10 victory.|
"This was the most exciting game I have ever been a part of," said Pierce City Head Coach Darin Henderson. "The girls never quit. They believed from the beginning of the season that they could reach and win this championship game."
In the top of the sixth inning Purdy took a 9-8 lead on Brooke Swadley's second two-run home run. In the bottom half of the sixth, Pierce City had to answer.
The first two Pierce City batters were retired quickly in the bottom of the sixth. Lady Eagles' Emily Ashley stepped to the plate and doubled. Purdy intentionally walked Sara Stearns to face freshman McKenzie Moreland.
"The ball Emily (Ashley) hit was the best she'd hit all year," Henderson said. "I knew they would walk Stearns, that's why I have Moreland hitting behind her."
Moreland took the second pitch she saw and drove it to centerfield scoring, Ashley and Stearns. Moreland was able to score on the play when Purdy bobbled the relay throw to the infield.
"Our girls played hard," said Purdy Head Coach Jeff Swadley "Sometimes you can play your best and you still don't win the game. Pierce City played a good game, and we wish them well in the playoffs."
Pierce City jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. Purdy would answer with six runs in the top of the third. "Our girls never got down," added Henderson, "I told them to do what we do and we would be fine."
The Lady Eagles responded. They scored two in the fourth, five in the fifth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth.
|"Purdy is a great team and well coached," Henderson said. "They pushed us all night and our girls did a great job of answering the call."|
Pierce City will host the sectional round Wednesday night against Crane at 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for the contest.
"We had a great crowd at the championship game," Henderson said. "We look forward to having the home town advantage that come with that kind of support."