Prep Softball

Run in eighth costs Hannibal district title

By SHANE HULSEY
Sports Writer | 217-223-5100
sports@whig.com | @WhigSports
Posted: Oct. 9, 2017 12:01 am Updated: Oct. 10, 2017 12:30 am

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Olivia Pfeifer hit a double with two outs in the top of the eighth inning for the Hannibal softball team, but she was left stranded on base.

Reghan Smith hit a double with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning for Mexico, but her hit sent Bulldogs fans home happy.

Smith's double drove in Shelby Shaw with the only run of the game as Mexico defeated Hannibal 1-0 in Monday's Class 3 District 8 championship game.

Hannibal's chance to score in the eighth ended when Taylor Simms grounded out.

Shaw, pinch-hitting for Reagan Playter, led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. Taylor Sherrow laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Shaw to second with one out, but Maddie Roth struck out for the second out. Smith's double down the left-field line drove in the game-winner.

"I was just trying to hit a line drive instead of popping it up like I had been," Smith said of her approach during that at-bat. "I just trusted my hands and my mechanics."

Pirates coach Kendra Murphy was happy with how her team fought against Mexico.

"I couldn't be more proud of these girls," she said. "They definitely left it all out on the field tonight and gave it their all."

Mexico (21-7) faces St. Dominic (17-12) in the sectional on Wednesday. Hannibal finishes the season with a 14-12 record.

Mexico shortstop Erin Sampo recorded the only hit of the first three innings on a single in bottom of the first. Bulldogs pitcher Patience Lawson-Holman struck out eight of the first nine Pirates hitters, including seven in a row.

Sherrow tripled with one out in the top of the third, and Murphy replaced starting pitcher Taylor Wilson after 21/3 innings and just 27 pitches. Desarae Garcia walked Roth to put runners on first and third for the Bulldogs. Smith then attempted a squeeze bunt but bunted back to Garcia, who cut down Sherrow at the plate to keep the game scoreless.

Taylor Simms notched Hannibal's first hit with a one-out double in the top of the fourth. She was stranded at third, however, after a sacrifice bunt and a ground out.

Neither team had a runner reach base again until Pfeifer singled for the Pirates with two outs in the top of the sixth. She stole second on the first pitch of the next at-bat, but she was stranded there.

Garcia retired 13 straight Bulldogs hitters before giving up a two-out single to Hailey Mills in the bottom of the seventh. She promptly struck out Mackenzie Davis to send the game into extra innings.

Lawson-Holman threw a complete game four-hit shutout, striking out 11 and issuing just one walk.

"She (Lawson-Holman) just continues to own situations," Mexico coach Keith Louder said. "She really has a knack for bearing down and making things happen when it's crucial. Late in the game, Hannibal started getting some opportunities, and she seemed to find a little something extra to get us out of those innings."

Garcia threw 51/3 innings, giving up just three hits.

Class 3 District 8 Championship

Mexico 1, Hannibal 0

Hannibal 000 000 00--0 4 0

Mexico 000 000 01--1 5 1

Wilson, Garcia (3) and Whittaker; Lawson-Holman and Oetting. 2B--Hannibal 2 (Pfeifer, Simms), Mexico 1 (Smith). 3B--Mexico 1 (Sherrow).

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