PITSBURG — The Twin Valley South softball team saw its postseason end in the sectional tournament, Thursday, May 12, at Pitsburg, losing to Franklin Monroe, 11-1, in six innings.
The top seeded Jets took advantage of the Lady Panthers’ errors in the second inning to build up a four-run lead, and a hitting bonanza in the fifth inning put the game out of reach.
The Panthers came out swinging, hitting the ball on nearly every plate appearance. Unfortunately, almost all of the hits landed in the gloves of the F-M defenders or were ground outs.
TVS went three-up, three-down in the first two innings and the Jets left one on base. But the second inning was when things fell apart. F-M led off with a double from Morgan Bingham. Maddi Scharr bunted to pitcher Hailey Bright resulting in a throwing error, advancing Schaar to second and bringing in Bingham for the first score of the game. On the next plate appearance, Kinsey Goins tapped a bunt for first base, but later reached second base on a throwing error. From then on, the Jets bunted on nearly every at-bat in the second inning, resulting in three errors, two more hits and four runs scoring until an infield fly was caught by South catcher Lacey Emrick to end the inning with Franklin Monroe up 4-0.
The third inning saw nothing exciting as both teams went three up and three down on fly outs and ground outs. At the top of the fourth, Abby Robertson managed to register the Panthers’ first hit of the game and stole second base, but was left stranded. The Jets, saw their first batter get walked, followed by a sacrifice hit. But yet another throwing error saw Kennedy Morris advance to second while allowing the baserunner to score. The fifth inning was yet another three and out performance for TVS.
But the fifth inning was big for F-M. A string of singles by Allie Armstrong, Schaar, Goins, and Morgan Booher, who knocked in two RBIs, added to the lead for the Jets. Carrie Baker was walked, giving the Jets two on base. Then, Kennedy Morris cracked a solid double to drive in two more runs. But a fly out to center field left two runners on base to end the inning, with F-M up 9-0.
The sixth saw the Lady Panthers break the scoring drought. Hailee Bright led off with a single, and benefited from two straight sacrifice hits, finished by a base hit from Robertson to bring Bright in for Twin Valley’s lone score. But the Jets closed out the contest by scoring two more runs to force the termination of the game with a walk, an error, and three base hits.
“We came out early, wanting to be aggressive at the plate, but we just couldn’t center up on the ball today. The wind caught the ball and held them up and we were just unfortunate,” said Coach Nicholas Randall about how 12 of their outs came on fly balls.
“They bunted on us a lot in the second, our players were not setting their feet and we just needed to play better,” Randall said.
On his thoughts for next season, Randall was optimistic. “We had seven wins this year which is the most we’ve had in a long time here. We are looking to win ten or more next year and we got one tournament win this season so next year, we are looking to win at least two.”
Twin Valley South went 7-15 on the season. Two seniors played out their final games for TVS: Sarah Bingham and Allyson Brown. As many as 13 players are expected to return to softball next season, highlighted by eight sophomores on the roster.