The Switzerland County Lady Pacer softball team opened this year’s IHSAA Sectional tournament on Monday night with a 13-2 walloping of Austin.
The Lady Pacers rode the strong pitching of sophomore Kassidy Murray, who was steady all night long in her first Sectional pitching appearance. Switzerland County complemented that with timely hitting; and the Lady Pacers moved on to the semifinals.
Switzerland County got a run in the bottom of the first inning after Austin went out in order. Brooke Todd tripled to leftfield and scored when Taylar Jordan grounded hard to the shortstop for the RBI.
Two more runs crossed in the bottom of the second inning, when Hope Tankersley opened the inning with a single to right. She advanced and eventually scored on an errand throw by the Lady Eagles. Baylie Scudder singled to center; and after advancing to third, she scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Kelsi Konkle.
Austin scored two runs in the top of the third when Brittany Vires singled to right and Taylor Jeffries doubled to right centerfield, sending Brittany Vires to third. She scored when Quincy Jeffries singled to left; and Taylor Jeffries scored when the Lady Pacers made a bad throw.
The bottom of the third would seal the win for Switzerland County, as the Lady Pacers would score eight runs in the frame.
Susie Reyes drew a walk, and advanced to third when the Austin pitcher’s pick off attempt went wrong. McKenna Edwards then singled to right to bring home a run; and Hope Tankersley’s double to centerfield plated her teammate. Vicky Abbott then reached on an error by the first baseman; Baylie Scudder drew a walk; and Kelsi Konkle’s single to left brought home two RBI.
Brooke Todd followed that with a double and another RBI; and Taylar Jordan reached on an error by the third baseman. Susie Reyes then singled to center for an RBI; and Samantha Christerson reached on an infield single.
With the score now 11-2, the Lady Pacers continued their steady play to earn the win.
The final two runs for Switzerland County came in the bottom of the fourth, when Vicky Abbott reached on a walk. Kelsi Konkle then doubled with two outs to score Vicky Abbott; and Kelsi Konkle then scored on a bad pick off throw to third base.
Kassidy Murray recorded two strikeouts; allowed just five hits. Both Austin runs were earned.
The win propelled Switzerland County into the semifinal game against Southwestern, who defeated South Ripley in the Sectional’s opening round game.
The semifinal game didn’t go as well for the Lady Pacers, as they closed out their season on Tuesday night by falling to Southwestern by a score of 11-1.
Southwestern got on the board immediately with four runs in the first inning; and added another run in the second. After the Lady Rebels scored their sixth run in the top of the fourth, Switzerland County got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Taylar Jordan’s hit knocked in Kelsi Konkle.
But that would be the only runs that the Lady Pacers would score in the contest, and when the Lady Rebels added four more in the top of the fifth and another in the top of the sixth, the game ended on the 10-run rule.
Taylar Jordan was 1-for-3 on the night with an RBI; while Samantha Christerson was 1-for-2 at the plate. Kelsi Konkle drew a walk and scored the lone Switzerland County run.
Kassidy Murray recorded four strikeouts on the mound.