Monroe City fends off Canton’s seventh-inning rally to snare title of own tournament

Monroe City’ Lucy Pratt (4) delivers a pitch, during the Panthers game against the Pirates in Monroe City tournament, Saturday.  Mathew Kirby/Herald Whig-Courier Post

Monroe City's Lucy Pratt delivers a pitch during the Panthers' opening game of the Monroe City Tournament against Hannibal on Saturday at Lions Field in Monroe City, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

MONROE CITY, Mo. — Audri Youngblood kept her composure and the Monroe City softball team made certain the championship of its own tournament didn’t leave the city limits.

Leading Canton 6-0 in the seventh inning of the championship game Saturday night at Lions Field, the Panthers allowed a rally to be extended when an infield error allowed one run to score and put a runner on third base with one out.

Youngblood ended the threat with consecutive groundouts to punctuate a 6-4 victory.

She combined with Lucy Pratt to strike out five and allow only one earned run. Pratt struck out four, walked two and allowed two hits over the first four innings. Youngblood allowed six hits, but didn’t walk a batter and induced five groundout over three innings.

Monroe City grabbed the lead in the bottom of the third on Youngblood’s two-run, two-out double. In the fourth, Taylor Pfaff’s RBI groundout and an error that allowed Chapman to score pushed the Panthers’ lead to 4-0.

Pratt added an RBI triple and Youngblood an RBI single in the sixth.

Canton’s offense finally strung something together to start the seventh. Allie Ruffcorn and Kielyn Ott led off with back-to-back singles before Macie Fisher delivered a two-run single to left field. One out later, Emma Hultz reached on an error, which allowed Fisher to score. Hultz scored Kinsey Biggerstaff’s groundout. Madison Gorrell grounded out to end the game.

Youngblood finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs, while Fisher, Gorrell and Ott each had two hits for the Tigers.

Monroe City’s Audri Youngblood delivers a pitch against Hannibal during the first game of the Monroe City Tournament on Saturday at Lions Field in Monroe City, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

The Panthers (4-2) opened the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Hannibal as Pratt and Youngblood combined to strike out 11 over five innings. Pratt struck out six and allowed one run and two hits over three innings. Youngblood struck out five over two innings of relief.

Emily Freidank’s RBi sacrifice fly and Kiera Nash scoring on a passed ball gave Monroe City a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Nash also stole home in the fifth.

In the semifinals, Monroe City scored five times in the first inning and four more in the second to knock off Clark County 11-3. Nash went 3 for 3 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs, while Pratt and Youngblood each had two hits. Freidank had a two-run double in the first inning.

The Tigers beat Knox County 8-5 and South Shelby 11-0 to reach the championship game. Against Knox County, Biggerstaff went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs, while Gorrell had a double and two RBIs and Nariah Clay walked twice and scored twice.

Against South Shelby, Hultz and Ruffcorn combined on a five-inning no-hitter. Hultz struck out eight over three innings and Ruffcorn had one strikeout over two innings. Kaydee Guilfoyle doubled twice and scored twice, while Fisher had two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs.

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