Marceline softball backs Monday Brookfield win with league rout

Lady Tigers’ overall record climbs to 15-3-1 with Harrisburg ‘W’

As reported to C-T
Sliding Marceline High School softball Lady Tiger Sarah Kussman will barely beat the tag of Brookfield Lady Bulldogs third  baseman Greenlee McCollum to complete a leadoff triple to left-center field in the top of the third off of the teams' Monday, Sept. 27, meeting at Brookfield's Rusk Park field. Kussman's hit triggered a 6-runs inning for MHS, giving it a 7-2 lead en route to a 16-4 victory.

MARCELINE — A pair of decisive road-game victories – one nearby, one far away – ballooned the Marceline High School softball Lady Tigers’ Lewis and Clark Conference-leading and overall records early this past week.

At Brookfield on Monday, Marceline shrugged off BHS’ early lead and, behind a pair of Ella Lowe home runs and her and Ireland Bloss’ 4-hits days, eventually pulled away late for a 16-4 non-conference win. The next afternoon, the lengthy trip to Harrisburg produced a harvest of a 19-2 league runaway.

With those outcomes, MHS boosted its conference record to a perfect 6-0 and its overall ledger to 15-3-1.

The Lady Tigers had a chance to assure no worse than a chance of 2021 L&C laurels Thursday when Fayette was slated to visit Marceline. Their next contest is slated for Monday at home against Trenton at 5 p.m. with the final league game due Tuesday at 5 p.m. against Knox County.

Marceline 16, Brookfield 4

At dusty, hazy Rusk Park Monday, the host Lady Bulldogs jumped starting and winning pitcher Cassi Rodgers for a first-inning double by Mya Sackrey, Kadence Almond's RBI single to left, and a Diana Linscott run-scoring groundout to possess a 2-0 advantage after one.

Brookfield High School Lady Bulldogs junior catcher Kayedence Almond alertly keeps an eye on the Marceline left fielder's decision on what to do after fielding Almond's first-inning single during the team's Monday, Sept. 27, softball game at Brookfield's Rusk Park field. When the left fielder threw the ball toward home plate in a vain attempt to cut down lead runner Mya Sackrey, Almond took second base without a play and later scored on Diana Linscott's groundout for a 2-0 BHS lead. Marceline came back to win, 16-4.

The next nine runs, however, belonged to Marceline, largely determining the outcome.

Gracey Jordan got one of her three hits and scored in the top of the second to halve the lead. A 6-runs top of the third put MHS squarely in control.

Sarah Kussman got the big inning going with a triple, barely getting in safely on a very close play. A Cassi Rodgers bunt got the tying run home.

A Bloss double and an overthrow on Jordan’s second hit let the MHS pair switch places and put the Lady Tigers ahead, 3-2.

Jordan then swapped spots with Jenna Elam, who singled and advanced to second on the throw to the plate trying to cut down the speedy Jordan. Lowe then sent a single into right field, knocking in Elam, making it 5-2, Marceline, and knocking out Brookfield’s starting pitcher.

A base on balls to Kennedy Edgar put two on for Emmy Smithhisler, whose tap between home plate and the pitcher’s circle forced a rushed throw to first that went wild. By the time the ball came back to the infield, Lowe and Edgar had crossed the plate for a 7-2 MHS margin.

When winning pitcher Rodgers set Brookfield down in order in the bottom of the third, the momentum stayed in the Marceline dugout.

Marceline High School softball Lady Tigers second baseman Emmy Smithhisler makes an outstanding diving, bachanded stop of  Darcy Izard's shard second-inning grounder during the Monday, Sept. 27, game between MHS and Brookfield's Lady Bulldogs at Brookfield's Rusk Park field. Smithhisler could not get to her feet in time to throw Izard out, but the runner eventually was stranded. Marceline won the intra-county battle, 16-4.

Neither side budged the score in the fourth, despite Brookfield’s Darcy Izard and Raelen Brown touching Rodgers for singles.

The fifth frame saw both sides score, but the MHS lead still was five when it was terminated.

After an infield hit by Elam, Lowe walloped her third hit, this time a 2-runs home run over the right-field fence, briefly making it 9-2, visitors.

The home half saw Sackrey get aboard again, this time as a hit batter, and McCollum wait out a walk. After they took second and third, Linscott drove in her second and third runs of the evening with a hit to right.

With Brookfield desperately needing to post a bagel on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh to try to translate its two runs in the fifth into momentum for a rally that brought it back on close terms.

Marceline chose not to cooperate, though.

Bloss singled and stole second base, allowing Elam’s double to left to score her easily for a 10-4 MHS lead. Lowe then smoked another drive over the fence, this time in center field for an 8-runs Lady Tigers lead.

Although Charlee Reese nicked Rodgers for a hit in the BHS sixth, the Lady Bulldogs could do nothing with it, allowing Marceline to tote an 8-runs advantage into the final scheduled inning.

Not content, the Lady Tigers tacked on in the seventh.

Rodgers drew a walk and Sarah Kussman singled ahead of Bloss’ 3-runs home run over the left field fence.

The home team tried to cut into the spread in its last chance as McCollum singled and Linscott doubled off the fence in center. However, Rodgers stranded them in scoring position to end the game.

Statistically for Marceline in the county-rivalry contest, according to statistics shared by MHS coach Todd Lowther, in addition to Lowe’s and Bloss’ big days with the bat, Jordan and Elam had three hits apiece. Two hits each by Kussman and Smithhisler and one each by Rodgers and Addison Huber added up to a rollicking 20-hits game for the guests.

Monday’s preceding junior-varsity action ended in a 5-5 deadlock.

Avery Gillman and Kalli Barnett did the MHS pitching. Emma Cathey and Ellie Neblock knocked out two hits apiece and Mya Florine and Natalie Pennington one each.

Tuesday’s conference clash at Harrisburg saw Marceline again handily dispatch a Lady Bulldogs adversary.

With coach Lowther continuing to routinely alternate his starting pitchers, Bloss was in the circle and earned the easy victory.

At the plate, Kussman picked up a team-best three hits, Smithhisler, Lowe, Bloss and Rodgers two apiece, and Chloee Dorrell, Lucy Moseley, Avan Thornburg, Huber, Jordan, Elam, and Cathey one each. Add them up and it comes to 18 hits on the heels of the 20 the day before.

Tuesday’s junior-varsity contest was dominated by MHS, 16-0.

Again Barnett and Gillman did the throwing, backed by 15 hits. Finley Watson and Bentley Jordan joined Moseley in swatting two hits. Also in the “hits” column were Madison Teeter, Camryn Burgener, Willow Dorrell, Florine, Neblock, Thornburg, Pennington, A. Gillman, and Barnett.