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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Monett shows grit, rallies to beat Republic

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Play at the plate. A Republic runner is tagged out at home plate by Monett catcher Andrea Soriano during Monday's dramatic 8-6 come-from-behind win. Soriano also did damage at the plate, going two for four with a double and two RBI. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
Ty Goetz, Monett softball head coach, had several questions about his young team entering Monday night's contest against Republic.

On Saturday, his girls tasted defeat for the first time this season, falling 7-3 to Pleasant Hope in the Ash Grove Lady Pirates Tournament.

"You always wonder how your team is going to respond from that first defeat," said Goetz, "especially when you are going to play a team which is consistently good like Republic."

Out. Freshman Brooke Madison secures an out during the first inning of Monett's 8-6 victory over Republic on Monday. At the plate, Madison was one for three with an inside the park home run and two RBI. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
On Monday, Goetz got his answer as Monett rallied to beat the Lady Tigers of Republic 8-6.

Raigan Ratliff led off the bottom of the first and was hit by a pitch. Opting to play small ball, Goetz had Allie Krueger sacrifice to move Ratliff to second. Goetz's gamble paid off when Andrea Soriano smashed a double to the gap in left center to score Ratliff.

Republic rallied in the third inning, scoring five runs to put Monett in a 5-1 hole.

"I was asking myself where are we going to go from here," said Goetz. "We start four juniors, one sophomore and four freshmen. I challenged the girls to step up and respond."

The Lady Cubs roared back in the bottom of third, scoring with six runs with two outs.

Jessica Harper got the hit parade started with a single to left field. Allie Krueger hit a one-out single and Kelsey Wiseman walked to load the bases. Josee Krueger then belted a three-run triple to deep center.

The Lady Cubs weren't finished.

Abby Krueger reached on an error to allow Josee to score. The next batter, Brooke Madison, then completed one of the most exciting plays in all of softball, an inside-the-park home run. Madison blasted a drive into the gap in right center field and used her speed to circle the bases.

"I couldn't be more proud of the girls," said Goetz. "After giving up five runs, to battle back and score six times in the next at bat, shows how big of competitors these girls are."

The Lady Tigers tried to get into the contest, adding a tally in the top of the fourth, but the Lady Cubs' defense stiffened and shut the doot.

Ratliff retired 11 of the next 12 batters she faced and struck out five of the last seven. Ratliff pitched seven innings, allowed eight hits and struck out eight.

"I thought after we settled down after the third inning," said Goetz, "we played good defense behind Raigan. I was very pleased with how she played after allowing the five runs."

Monett will be in action on Thursday at Cassville. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

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