The Marceline softball season came crashing to a halt on Wednesday night in Columbia.
The Tigers were felled, 6-1, by Father Tolton in a sectional-round game in which the host did a major chunk of its damage before Marceline was able to record three outs. Marceline finishes its season 19-4, and Father Tolton advances to the state quarterfinal game with a 20-6 record.
"We didn't make some plays that we probably could have, and we dug ourselves a hole," Marceline coach Todd Lowther said. "We knew they were a good team, and we knew we'd have to limit mistakes. It's tough to get out of a tight spot like that when you're facing a good pitcher, and she had good movement. We didn't make very good adjustments."
Father Tolton posted four runs in the top of the first inning. Despite hosting, the Trailblazers were the visiting team, and they added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the fourth.
Marceline had its best comeback opportunity of the game in the sixth inning. After recording just a single hit through five innings, the Tigers knocked three straight off of Father Tolton's Paige Bedsworth with one out, including Abbey Kussman knocking in Kenzie Stahl for the Tigers' only run of the game. In that sixth inning, Marceline would eventually leave the bases loaded.
Tolton finished with 11 hits to Marceline's four.
"We talked a lot the past few days about getting ahead," Father Tolton coach Taylor Cowan said. "Our scouting report said that we were going to face a good pitcher who liked to get ahead, so we had to take advantage of pitches early in the count and we did that tonight. Marceline did a really nice job of staying calm after that first inning."