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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Monett Lady Cubs fall in sectionals to Nevada

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Making the play. Josee Krueger throws out a runner for Monett during the sixth inning of the sectional playoff game at Nevada. The Lady Cubs set a school record with 18 victories this season. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
The final score was not indicative of the effort and the energy that the Monett Lady Cubs played with Wednesday night in Nevada.

Monett fell 18-1 to the Lady Tigers in the Missouri Class 3 sectional playoff round.

"Softball is a funny game," said Monett coach Ty Goetz. "You can be cruising along and then make one mistake and the game gets away from you just that quick."

Strike out. Monett's Andrea Soriano secures the ball as a Nevada batter strikes out during the third inning of Wednesday night sectional softball game. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
Nevada, the defending state champion, took advantage of every mistake the young Monett team made. But to Monett's credit, they never stopped fighting.

Monett hung tough the first four innings. Nevada pushed a run across in the first when Mackenzie Pritchett walked and scored on Olivia Culbertson's double.

Monett's pitcher Allie Krueger settled in and retired the next eight batters she faced. Six of the eight outs were strikeouts.

Offensively, Monett struggled to generate hits against All-State pitcher Christian Novak.

Novak allowed two hits and one earned run while striking out 12 and walking five in seven innings of work. She struck out the first five hitters she faced.

The Lady Cubs failed to capitalize on opportunities in the first four innings.

In the second, Allie Krueger walked and stole second. Brooke Madison drilled a ball toward right field, but Pritchett made a leaping catch to record the out.

In the third inning, Jessica Harper was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. In the same inning, Raigan Ratliff was also caught stealing.

The Lady Tigers increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth when Culbertson and Ashley Shumaker walked. Tori Dahmer ripped a triple to score Culbertson and Shumaker.

"Nevada is a good team," said Goetz. "They did just about everything right tonight. All you can do is tip your cap and say good game."

Nevada exploded for seven runs in the fifth to build a 10-0 lead.

Before the Cubs came to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, Goetz challenged his girls to break through against Novak.

The Lady Cubs responded.

Madison, after being robbed of a hit in the second inning, drilled a shot to the wall in right field for a triple. She scored on an error on a ball hit by Harper.

The Lady Tigers countered by scoring eight runs in the seventh to provide the final margin of victory.

Goetz's message to his team after the game was one of encouragement and emulation.

"This game does not take anything away from the amazing season you girls put together," said Goetz. "We know what it takes to get to this stage, and we have witnessed the type of effort we have to play with to win. Every one of us will be back next season, and we have a chance to get better and stronger in the off-season. It hurts now, but we will be better for it in the long run."

Monett finished the season 18-10 and set a school record for victories. The Lady Cubs also captured a district title only the second in school history.

Monett's starting line up featured four freshman (Abby Krueger, Allie Krueger, Brooke Burnside and Brooke Madison), one sophomore (Kelsey Wiseman) and four juniors (Raigan Ratliff, Josee Krueger, Andrea Soriano and Jessica Harper).

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