Marceline softball girls spank big schools, take tourney title
Defeat two St. Joseph teams, Maryville, Savannah in four Benton Tournament wins Saturday
nullST. JOSEPH — In a major highlight of another outstanding season of Marceline High School softball, the MHS Lady Tigers strolled into St. Joseph last Saturday and swept four games from mostly-significantly-larger schools to capture the championship of the Benton Invitational tournament.
Marceline’s season record soared to 21-3-1 in capturing its first tourney crown of the season in three tries.
The Lady Tigers, who were rained out of what was to have been their last regular-season game Monday against Princeton, immediately signaled their “no-fear” attitude against the Class 3 and 4 opponents in the tournament by handling St. Joseph: Lafayette 8-2 in its opener. An 8-0 triumph over Maryville in which Ella Lowe ripped a couple of home runs followed.
Facing St. Joseph: Central’s outstanding squad, Marceline not only was not cowed, but put on a dominating display, prevailing 11-0 behind a Emma Cathey grand slam and Jenna Elam’s long ball.
That put MHS in the championship game against Savannah, last year’s Class 3 state runnerup, although not as strong this year with the graduation of its top 2020 pitcher.
Nevertheless still a formidable opponent, the Lady Savages and Lady Tigers wound up dueling into extra innings before Marceline grabbed a 13-10 victory and the crown. Ireland Bloss, Emmy Smithhisler, and Cathey each ripped home runs to help power the triumph, coach Todd Lowther reports.
“It was a very long day, but the girls played great as a team,” he saluted his team
In the championship victory, Bloss was the starting pitcher, but eventually gave way to Cassi Rodgers, who picked up credit for the extra-innings win.
Cathey and Bloss were joined by Sarah Kussman and Addison Huber in stroking three hits apiece. Gracey Jordan and Lowe shared 2-hits games with Smithhisler and Rodgers also chipped in a safety.
Against Central, Elam’s home run was one of her three hits, while Cathey’s slam was her only hit. Lowe raked two hits and Chloee Dorrell, Smithhisler, Rodgers, Bloss, and Jordan had a hit each in support of Rodgers’ twirling.
The Maryville shutout was spun by Bloss, who was backed by three Rodgers hits. Lowe’s pair of roundtrippers made her one of three Lady Tigers with two hits – Jordan and Smithhisler being the others. Cathey and Elam had one hits each.
Lafayette’s pitching was the most successful against Marceline, being the only one to keep it in the park and allowing only eight total hits. Huber had two and Kussman, Lowe, Bloss, Rodgers, Jordan and Smithhisler one apiece.
With Monday’s washout, Marceline’s squad will seek to capture the Class 2 district title it has claimed each of the past three years.
The top seed in District 6’s tourney being hosted by Putnam County, the MHS squad was to open the 8-teams tournament at Unionville Tuesday with a 5 p.m. game against Brookfield.
If triumphant in that one, as anticipated, the Lady Tigers will take on either Milan or Gallatin in the semifinals Thursday at 5 p.m.
The tourney’s championship game is slated for Saturday at 1 p.m.
The other seeds in the field are South Harrison second, Putnam County third, and Milan fourth.