The team of 9- and 10-year-old girls from Marshall, Malta Bend, Sweet Springs and Concordia beat LaCoMo Central for the second time Thursday behind the two-hit pitching of Hannah Marshall -- who struck out eight batters en route to a 15-2, four-inning victory.
East scored two runs in the top of the first inning, five more in the second and put the game away with a seven-run fourth. All 10 players in the line-up reached base and scored.
Marshall had a two-run single in the second, while Kailei Allen and Abbie Marshall did the same in the fourth. Lead-off hitter Averi Eckhoff got on base in all four of her plate appearances.
LaCoMo East began the meet Monday with a 13-3, five-inning win over Central, Hannah Marshall in the circle again. All 15 outs were the result of strikeouts, Marshall surrendering only two hits. During the regular season, she fanned 107 batters in 39 innings for the league-champion Santa Fe Central Missouri Ag Services club.
Alyson Marcum stroked a two-run single in the first inning and East rang up five-run rallies in the last two frames. Lynda Bennett and Chelsea Dillon had two-run doubles in the fourth and Lauren Eagle knocked in a pair of runs with a double in the fifth.
The game-ending run came on a steal of home by Allen, who walked and swiped her away around the base paths while Marcum took four balls.
The semifinal game against Carroll County was a slugfest won in six innings by East, 18-10. LaCoMo East broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the second inning by tallying five runs -- helped by RBI singles from Abbie Marshall and Eckhoff. Kailey Ohrenberg singled in a run in the third to make it 7-4.
A triple by Lauren Eagle plated an East run in the fourth and scored on Marcum's single. Cassidy Warren would knock in the inning's third run with a base hit.
Still Carroll County was in contention, trailing 10-6 after four innings, when LaCoMo East exploded for eight runs in the fifth -- four crossing on bases-loaded walks. Eckhoff doubled and Eagle added an RBI single.
Although Carroll County came up with four runs in the fifth, it didn't get close again -- the game ending with Eagle striking out the final two batters after Hannah Marshall gunned down a runner attempting to steal third base in her only appearance at catcher this season.
LaCoMo East will begin play in the state tournament Friday, July 20, at Concordia.