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Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Monett softball claims tourney championship

Thursday, September 27, 2012

(Photo)
Awaiting judgment. Monett senior Josee Krueger slides into third base as the Purdy's third baseman applies the tag. Krueger was ruled safe on the play. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
To say that the Monett Lady Cubs softball team (16-2, 4-1) is on a roll would be an understatement.

On the softball field, the Lady Cubs are explosive, like liquid lava erupting from an angry volcano.

Monett has won 12 of its last 13 games, including six contests since Thursday, Sept. 20, outscoring its opponents 61-8 in those six matchups.

(Photo)
Putting it in play. Monett's Jessica Harper takes a swing at a ball during the Lady Cubs 9-2 victory over Aurora. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
"We finally started to hit the ball hard and ran the bases really well," said Monett coach Ty Goetz. "Our approach to the games hasn't change. We want to go out and have fun."

The marathon of games began on Sept. 20 with a 9-2 victory over Aurora. The win moved the Lady Cubs just one win away from the team's first ever conference title.

"It would be nice to secure the title," said Goetz, "We don't want to place to much emphasis on a regular season game. We just want to come out, compete and give ourselves a chance to win."

Monett was opportunistic and aggressive without getting many hits against the Lady Houn' Dawgs.

Of Monett's nine runs, only one run was scored with the aid of a hit. The other eight runs were a result of a walk with the bases loaded or a runner scoring on a wild pitch.

Brooke Burnside's single in the bottom of the sixth was the only hit that scored a run for the Lady Cubs.

"It's frustrating to get runners in scoring position and struggle to drive them in," said Goetz. "We found a way to win and that is what good teams do, they find ways to win."

Springfield tourney

On Friday, Sept. 21, Monett played five games in 24 hours in the Springfield High Schools Invitational Tournament.

Monett opened tournament play with a 6-0 victory over Purdy.

Raigan Ratliff pitched a no-hitter against the Lady Eagles and was one walk, in the top of the fifth, away from a perfect game.

The Lady Cubs jumped out early scoring four runs in the first inning and two runs in the third.

Josee Krueger was one for two at the plate with a double and two RBI. Abby Krueger was one for two at the dish with a single and two runs scored.

Glendale

The Lady Cubs concluded play on the first day of the tournament with a 15-1 win over the Glendale Lady Falcons.

Glendale struck first, plating a run in the bottom of the first inning, but the euphoria of the lead was short lived as Monett tied the contest in the top of the second.

Four more runs in the third swelled the lead and the scoring floodgates opened in the fifth as 10 Lady Cubs crossed home plate.

Allie Krueger collected three singles, scored three times and added a RBI. Ratliff collected three hits with two runs scored and two RBI. Abby Krueger and Andrea Soriano had two hits apiece and scored a combined four times.

Ratliff, Brooke Madison and Soriano each belted a triple for Monett.

Logan-Rogersville

The Lady Cubs advanced to play Logan-Rogersville on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The game was never in doubt as the Lady Cubs' batters drove in eight runs in the first inning. Three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth innings assured the 12-1 victory.

Allie Krueger, Ratliff, Kelsey Wiseman, Josee Kruger and Madison had two hits apiece.

Madison hit a three-run double in the first and had a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to collect four RBI.

Ratliff went the distance on the mound allowing three hits and one earned run and struck out four.

Camdenton

In the semi-finals, Monett continued the hit parade scoring six times before the Camdenton Lady Lakers had an opportunity to bat.

Four tallies in the second inning, one more in the third and two runs in the fourth, enacted the mercy rule as Monett cruised to a 13-0 victory.

Monett's 13 runs came on 14 team hits.

Josee Krueger supplied the fireworks in the first inning hitting a two-run home run, her fourth round-tripper of the season.

Soriano connected on her first long-bomb, a two-run shot in the second inning.

Ratliff, Wisman, Abby Krueger, Josee Krueger, Madison and Soriano had RBI for Monett.

Jessica Harper and Wiseman were a perfect three for three at the plate.

Championship

The toll of playing so many games in such a short amount of time began to catch up with the Lady Cubs when they met Pierce City in the championship game of the Springfield Tournament.

The contest was a rematch of the season opener that Monett won 11-0.

The second time around proved to be more of a challenge.

Pierce City knocked off Waynesville, Cassville, Hillcrest and Strafford to earn a berth into the title tilt, and they were looking for payback.

Monett erased the goose egg on the board with a tally in the first inning.

Ratliff doubled with one out. She then stole third and scored on an error to give Monett a quick 1-0 lead.

Not backing down, the Lady Eagles responded with three runs in the bottom of the first.

A leadoff walk to Baylee Hayward and singles by Faith Strong and Monica Sexton loaded the bases with no outs.

McKenzie Moreland singled to score Hayward and Strong. With one out Moreland scored on a passed ball to give the Lady Eagles a 3-1 lead.

The Lady Cubs dug deep and got a run back in the second when Madison reached on an error and scored on a Soriano single.

Monett took the lead for good in the third inning.

One out singles by Abby Krueger and Ratliff and a error that allowed Wiseman to reach, loaded the bases for Abby Krueger.

Krueger singled to short and with heads-up base running Allie Krueger and Ratliff scored to give Monett a 5-3 advantage.

Monett added a run in the fifth and Pierce City added a run in the seventh to complete the scoring.

"For the last four years we have wanted to win this tournament," said Goetz. "It always seems that we start playing well at this tourney and we use it as a springboard for the rest of our season."

The Lady Cubs travel to East Newton on Thursday, Sept. 27. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.



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