The Marceline softball team opened the week by splitting a pair of games against good competition on Monday and Tuesday. After falling 7-1 Monday to a dynamite, one-loss Trenton team, Marceline picked up a come-from-behind victory against a familiar foe the next evening.
"Trenton's got the hitters," Marceline coach Todd Lowther said. "They had a couple innings where they scored some runs, and really we shut them down the last couple innings, but they got the key hits when they needed them. It wasn't our night, but a lot of it had to do with them."
The Tigers went on to grind out a gritty, 8-7 victory Tuesday against Knox County after trailing 7-2 in the third inning.
The two teams played to a 1-0 final on Saturday in the Schuyler County tournament, and both coaches sensed coming into the night that Tuesday's game would be more offense-oriented.
"I knew Marceline was a good ball club, and we knew it'd be a close game," Knox County coach Becky Barnhill said. "It should be a close game as long as we're putting it in play. After that third inning, (Marceline pitcher) Maycee Edgar made the adjustments she needed to make and found her spots."
Marceline never led until the bottom of the sixth, but consistently chipped away at a five-run deficit. Entering the bottom of that fourth inning, Lowther told his girls in the huddle that they couldn't get back in the game with just one swing.
In that inning, Darcy Dorrell hit a two-run moonshot to left center, and Maisie Billups -- who stroked a game-tying blast of her own in the second inning -- doubled and crossed the plate on a Savanna Kelly infield single.
In the fifth, Edgar singled to narrow the margin to one run, and in the sixth, Kenzie Stahl slapped a game-tying triple and Abbey Kussman managed a clutch, two-out hit to push her across.
The Tigers finished with nine hits. Edgar allowed 12 hits, but only two of them came after that big third inning.
"We didn't have many hits against (Knox County pitcher Katie Hamlin) on Saturday," Billups said. "We came back today with some good at-bats. She wasn't any different, we just got on her and got in her head. We communicated and picked each other up."
Marceline rounds out its regular season at home on Thursday against Macon. Senior night festivities will take place between the varsity and junior varsity games.