Lady Owls eliminated in district opener
OAK GROVE -- Freshman Kaitlyn Marsh tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out 10, as host Oak Grove ended the Marshall softball team's season Wednesday with a 9-0 victory in the first round of the Class 3, District 14 Tournament at Webb Park.
The Lady Owls hung tough until the late innings, but couldn't generate the offense needed to keep pace -- blanked for the eighth time this season.
The Lady Panthers got a run in the first inning when senior Rachel Klipper singled and came in on a sacrifice fly. Oak Grove added another run in the fourth when sophomore Laurel Sutter singled home sophomore Savannah Taylor, who had led off with a double.
Meanwhile, after giving up a single to junior Kera Eskew, Marsh kept Marshall's bats at bay. She pitched out of brief jams due to a pair of two-out walks in both the second and third innings, but then retired nine straight batters -- striking out the side in the fourth -- before senior Bri Varner stroked a two-out single in the sixth.
Taylor doubled in two runs and scored in the fifth for the Lady Panthers, who took advantage of three errors and a walk -- followed by RBI singles from senior Jamie Carpenter and Sutter -- for four unearned runs in the sixth.
Taylor finished with three hits, scored three runs and drove in three for Oak Grove (10-12) -- which will face top seed Boonville in today's semifinal round.
Although they had their moments, such as ending a long NCMC losing streak early in the season, the Lady Owls (4-18) came up one win shy of their victory total of a year ago.
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