The McDonald County Lady Mustang softball team took a giant step to at least a share of the Big 8 Conference championship with a pair of conference wins last week, including a key 3-2 walk-off win over previously once-beaten Logan-Rogersville on Sept. 27 at MCHS.
The two wins give the Lady Mustangs an overall record of 17-3, including an 8-1 record in the Big 8 Conference with one conference game remaining (Oct. 2 at Monett).
Against Logan-Rogersville, any hopes for a conference title were almost dashed when McDonald County trailed 2-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. But the Lady Mustangs scored two runs on three hits to pull out a 3-2 win.
Leslie Yousey led off the inning with a single. Sacrifice bunts by Rita Santillan and Chloe Colvin were misplayed, loading the bases with no outs. Whitney Kinser followed with a solid single to left to tie the game before Kylie Helm lined a bullet to right to drive in the winning run.
The rally made a winner of Alexa Hopkins, who allowed two runs on just four hits while striking out two.
Helm finished with three hits, while Hopkins had two and Santillan, Kinser and Yousey had one.
McDonald County used a four-run fifth inning to break open a close game on the way to an 8-0 win over Marshfield in a makeup game on Sept. 28 at MCHS.
Madeline McCall got the win, allowing just one hit in seven innings while striking out seven and walking two.
The Lady Mustangs led just 2-0 entering the fifth inning before putting together five straight hits for four runs after two were out.
Kinser doubled to start the rally. Helm drove her in with a single before Hopkins singled to put runners on first and third. After Hopkins stole second, McCall singled in both runners. Kristin Cornell drove in the final run of the inning with a single.
Kinser and Hopkins had finished with three hits each, while Helm and Cornell had two and McCall and Yousey had one.
Grove handed the Lady Mustangs just their third loss of the season with a 9-6 win on Sept. 25 in Grove, Okla.
McCall took the loss, allowing eight runs in three and two-thirds innings on nine hits. Hopkins went the final two and a third innings, allowing one run on three hits.
McDonald County opened the scoring with two runs in the first. Grove answered with four runs in the bottom half of the inning.
But the Lady Mustangs came back in the top half of the second inning with four runs of their own to take a 6-4 lead.
Grove took the lead for good in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs on three hits and a walk. The Lady Ridgerunners added insurance runs in the fourth and fifth innings while shutting McDonald County out over the final five innings.
Hopkins led the offense with two hits and three RBIs. Colvin added two hits, while Kinser, Helm and McCall had one.
The Lady Mustangs traveled to Webb City on Oct. 1 before their key conference matchup at Monett on Oct. 2. McDonald County closes out the regular season on Oct. 5-6 at the Carthage Tournament.Sports on 10/04/2018
Print Headline: Softball Chomping At Bit For Conference Title