Lady Owls' season ends suddenly
WARRENSBURG -- Despite being the bottom seed, the Marshall softball team had no intention of exiting the Class 3, District 13 Tournament meekly.
The Lady Owls battled No. 3 seed Versailles down to the wire during Thursday's opening round, dropping a 5-4 decision in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Lady Tigers jumped in front with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, two scoring on a single by senior pitcher Chelsea Claypole -- who held Marshall at bay for four frames, escaping from a two-on, two-out jam in the third.
The Lady Owls broke through in the fourth. A hit batter, walk, singles by freshman Whitney Baldridge and sophomore Tara Bartel, three passed balls and an error gave Marshall a 4-3 lead.
Senior Rhea Boyd's double following a single and stolen base by freshman Danielle Croy tied the score in the bottom half of the frame, but freshman Chelsey Anderson escaped further damage and retired the side in order in the sixth.
Marshall had a chance to regain the lead in the seventh, but left a runner in scoring position.
Freshman Emily Aldredge singled and went to second on a grounder, but was thrown out trying to score on freshman Kelsey Griffin's single. Claypole got senior Megan Hunt to hit a comebacker to snuff the threat.
Senior Sarah McFarland led off the Lady Tigers' seventh with a single and went to third base on an error. She was there with one out when Croy singled in the game-ending tally.
Claypole allowed only one earned run and struck out 10 batters for Versailles (14-9), which plays Odessa in today's semifinal round.
Griffin was three for four for the Lady Owls (2-16), who end their second season with only one more win than during the inaugural campaign -- but by all accounts, including that of head coach Kelly Langhoff, a much-improved team.