Marceline's softball team put on a strong showing in its season opener on Monday evening, defeating Penney 5-2 at home. The only runs the Tigers allowed both came in Penney's four-hit third inning, but Marceline atoned by scoring four in the bottom of that frame.
Penney, coming off of a season in which it reached the state quarterfinal, defeated Marceline 4-3 to begin the 2017 season.
Marceline senior pitcher Maycee Edgar hurled a dandy aside from her dubious third inning. Outside of the third, she allowed just two hits all evening.
"Early in the game, I was struggling," Edgar said. "My third baseman, Kenzie (Stahl), just told me to calm down and breathe and that helped me focus in. The other day at practice, we went in and looked over their team. We knew they had a lot of the same pieces returning. We knew that we'd have to do all the little things right, and we went out there with that mindset and got it done."
Edgar was also key on the offensive side, batting in three of her team's five runs including a two-RBI double in the third inning.
Despite allowing five runs during that span, powerful left-handed Penney sophomore all-state pitcher Julia Kanoy's first 11 recorded outs were all strikeouts. She finished the game with 14 batters K'ed to just three for Edgar.
Marceline coach Todd Lowther said that too often not putting the ball in play was one of the few shortcomings in Monday night's otherwise impressive early-season victory.
"We talked about trying to shorten our swings, especially against a pitcher of her caliber," Lowther said. "We need to have a good approach, and when we did that, we had success. We tried to do too much sometimes."
Aside from the eye-popping figure that 14 of Marceline's 18 outs were of the three-strike variety, Lowther liked what he saw for August softball.
Lowther especially liked how sharp his defense looked.
"Defensively for us, we didn't make many mistakes," he said. "Against a team like that that's going to capitalize, we did a good job of not giving them big innings. Sure, they scored two in the third, but once we took the lead, we had a couple quick innings. We played well after that."
Edgar was the only Tiger with a multi-hit game. Stahl, shortstop Baylee Jobson, outfielder Ciarrah Bell, designated player Jenna Elam, and freshman outfielder Sarah Kussman all recorded a hit apiece.
The Tigers play again Saturday in Putnam County's tournament.