Eight-run first inning propels Monroe City to victory in third-place game against Canton


Monroe City’s Abigail Smith rounds third base during the Panthers’ game against Hannibal on Saturday morning in the 26th annual Monroe City Tournament in Monroe City, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

MONROE CITY, Mo. — An eight-run outburst in the bottom of the first inning enabled the Monroe City softball team to put Canton on its heels and secure a 15-5, five-inning victory in the third-place game of Saturday’s 26th annual Monroe City Tournament.

Monroe City went 2-1 overall, beating Hannibal 17-2 in the opener and falling to Montgomery County 7-6 in the semifinals.

In the third-place game, the Tigers picked up a run in the top of the first inning as Macie Fisher led off with a bunt single, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice and scored on Kinsey Biggerstaff’s groundout.

In the bottom of the frame, Monroe City’s Audri Youngblood led off by reaching on an error, stole second and scored on Kiera Nash’s single. One out later, Nash scored on Taylor Pfaff’s single. NaaronHays and Cahlin Chapman had back-to-back RBI singles, while two errors contributed to three more runs scoring.

The Panthers tacked on two runs in each of the next three innings and never let the Tigers back in the game.

Nash finished 3 for 4 with two runs scored, while Lucy Pratt went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and Abigail Smith and Chapman each had two hits. Fisher went 3 for 3 with three runs scored for Canton.

Pratt earned the victory, allowing three earned runs and six hits over five innings with six strikeouts and no walks.

The Panthers fell into the third-place game following a 7-6 loss to Montgomery County in which the Wildcats answered the first two times Monroe City scored.

Youngblood led off the top of the first with a single, stole second and third and scored on Pratt’s single to left field. However, the Wildcats scored twice in the bottom of the first on an error and an RBI groundout.

In the second inning, Monroe City tallied four runs with Nash delivering an RBI single, Youngblood smacking an RBI double and Pfaff adding a run-scoring single. Montgomery County answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a two-run double from Aliviah Fischer.

Pratt went 3 for 4, while Youngblood and Pfaff each had two hits.

In the tournament opener, Monroe City scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning and posted a 17-2 three-inning victory over Hannibal.

Pratt went 2 for 2 with two runs scored and three RBIs, while Youngblood went 2 for 2 with a triple and three runs scored. Kira Riley triples for one of the Pirates’ three hits.

Canton split its first two games, beating Knox County 11-0 and falling to Brookfield 7-6. The Tigers scored in each of the five innings against Knox County, getting two doubles and five RBIs from Kielyn Ott. Fisher scored four runs, while Macy Glasgow went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Brenna Brewer allowed no runs and four hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.

Against Brookfield, the Tigers erased a 5-3 deficit with two runs in the top of the third, fell behind by a run in the fourth and tied the game in the sixth when Ott reached second on an error, went to third on a sacrifice fly and scored on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the sixth, though, Brookfield’s Tylynn Almond hit a one-out double to center field and scored on an infield single to win the game.

Ott and Emma Hultz had two hits apiece for Canton, while Allie Ruffcorn suffered the loss after allowing four runs and four hits in 4 ⅓ innings of relief. She struck out seven and walked three.

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