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Examiner
  • Squeeze bunt sparks cold Wildcat offense in semifinal win; Cats to face Jags in final

  • On the coldest day of the softball season with a stiff wind keeping balls in the infield, Blue Springs coach Roger Lower could guess the type of game he was in for in Thursday’s Class 4 District 14 semifinal at Legacy Park.

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  • On the coldest day of the softball season with a stiff wind keeping balls in the infield, Blue Springs coach Roger Lower could guess the type of game he was in for in Thursday’s Class 4 District 14 semifinal at Legacy Park.
    With his team struggling offensively in recent weeks – the Wildcats had failed to total more than two runs in four of their last five games – and Lee’s Summit West starter Mandy Roberts in control through the first two frames, Lower knew his squad needed to force the issue offensively.
    So in the bottom of the third with Kelsey Brady on third, Lower called for Morgan McMahan to execute a squeeze bunt.  The sophomore placed it perfectly and Brady slid home with the game’s first run. Erin Keeney and Alexis Reid followed with RBI singles and the Wildcats secured a 4-0 victory to advance to today’s 4:30 p.m. championship to face Blue Springs South.
    “We needed somebody to do something and get something done,” Lower said. “Mo got the squeeze down and I think that gave us a little energy.
    “In a low-scoring game when we haven’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball, we needed to scratch and claw and get a run any way we could.”
    Four runs was more than enough for Reid, the sophomore right-hander who dominated the Titans in a complete-game effort. Reid gave up just one hit – with two outs in the seventh – while striking out eight and allowed only two balls out of the infield.
    Reid surrendered a leadoff walk to start the game and West (19-11) put runners on second and third with two outs after a Blue Springs error. But Reid ended the inning with a strikeout. After another walk to start the second, Reid fanned four consecutive Titans looking. She also retired 12 in a row from the third to seventh innings.
    “She killed it,” McMahan said. “She knocked them out. She pitched so well. She had the right mentality today and came out ready.”
    Brady went 4-for-4 with an RBI single, two stolen bases and a run scored.
    Now the Cats (22-8) will go for their fifth district crown in the last six years as they’ll take on Blue Springs South. The Jaguars downed Suburban Big Six Conference champion Lee’s Summit 5-0 Thursday. During the regular season, Blue Springs swept both meetings with the Jags by 2-0 and 4-2 scores.
    “I was glancing over at South a couple times and saw them beating Lee’s Summit,” Reid said. “It’s going to be a big rivalry game. Hopefully we’ll win.”
    BLUE SPRINGS SOUTH 5, LEE’S SUMMIT 0: Facing a scoreless tie going into the sixth inning, South coach Kristi Williams told her team the game would likely end with a 1-0 score.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Jaguars proved their coach wrong by rallying for a five-run rally to power past the Suburban Big Six champion Tigers.
    Mariah Bierman, Erin Griesbauer, Michaela Tolliver, Chelsey Tipton and Hannah Tolliver all tallied RBI singles. Michaela Tolliver picked up the win by working seven innings and striking out four.
    Bierman, Tipton and Cheyenne Watkins all finished 2-for-3.
    The Jags (17-13) meet Blue Springs in the championship at 4:30 p.m. today.
    “Every day is a brand new season right now,” Williams said. “We want to be 1-0 every day from here on out and play our best game every day. That’s how we’ve been approaching it.”
    The Tigers ended the season 18-8.
     
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