The Fort Osage Indians drove a Mercedes to a pair of victories in their first two games in the Greater Kansas City Suburban Softball Invitational Tuesday evening at Adair Park.

The Fort Osage Indians drove a Mercedes to a pair of victories in their first two games in the Greater Kansas City Suburban Softball Invitational Tuesday evening at Adair Park.

Mercedes Marriott had three hits and scored three runs in an opening-game 8-3 victory over Harrisonville to back the five-hit pitching of freshman Katy Divers.

Marriott then stroked a bases-clearing double to break up a 2-all tie in the top of the sixth inning to help Caitlyn Carter and the Indians claim a hard-fought 7-2 victory in their second game.

“When the bases were loaded in the second game, I went up to the plate thinking, ‘It would be nice to be the hero,’” said Marriott, who went 6-for-8 in the two wins. “And as it turned out, I guess I was. It was pretty cool and I’m so happy we were able to get off to a good start.

“Winning the first two games of this tournament is huge, just huge.”

For five innings of the second game, Carter and West’s Alexis Perkins were locked in a good, old fashioned pitchers’ duel.

The Indians’ Marriott and Kenzi Mickey led off the top of the first inning with back-to-back singles, but were soon part of a bang-bang triple play that started when Michaela Oliphant struck out.

West catcher Emily Garcia threw out Marriott at third base. When Mickey took a wide turn at second, paused, and headed for third base, she was gunned down by second baseman Christiana Plummer.

“After that inning, I went over to their coach and jokingly said, ‘You gotta be kidding me. A triple play?’” first-year Indians coach Kelly Sullivan said. “Then they get a double play against us in the second inning and while they’re doing that, we’re kicking the ball around and Caitlyn gives up a couple of unearned runs.

“But I was so proud of the girls. They could have gotten down on themselves, but they didn’t. We came back and made some nice defensive plays to keep the game tied and when Mercedes got that double in the sixth, it was like, ‘Yes!’ It was just a tremendous feeling.”

Carter not only starred on the mound, allowing seven hits and no earned runs, she drove home the first two Indian runs with a two-run double in the top of the second.

“I was a little frustrated out there,” Carter admitted, “especially when they got that triple play. But this year’s team is never going to give up. This was a real close game for five innings and Mercedes got the biggest hit of the night.”

Carter paused for a moment, waited until her teammate was within earshot, and added, “She finally listened to me.”

When Marriott turned to catch the rest of the comment, Carter said, “She finally did this – instead of this.”

Carter then swung an imaginary bat level, after swinging it from her feet to the top of her head.

Both girls laughed, and boarded the Fort Osage bus for the joyous ride home.

There might not have been a happier player on the bus than Divers, who put the team in the driver’s seat with that first-game win.

“It was the first time I ever pitched in a varsity game,” Divers said, “and I wasn’t even nervous. Softball just comes natural to me and I couldn’t wait for my first start.”

Sullivan said she wanted to get the talented freshman some experience early in the season.

“We haven’t established a No. 1 starter yet, and the way Katy and Caitlyn pitched tonight, it looks like we might have two very good starters.”

The second game didn’t come without some cost, as Oliphant suffered a knee injury in the top of the seventh inning when she scored and appeared to hyperextend her knee when she hit the plate.

“The trainer said it doesn’t look too serious,” Sullivan said, “but she’s in a lot of pain. You just hate to see something like that happen.”