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Fort Osage 'family' dominates Bears

By Bill Althaus
Associated Press
Fort Osage leadoff hitter Kyra McIntosh, right, gets a pat on the head as congratulations from teammate Alysa Garlock after slugging a home run in the third inning of Monday's game against William Chrisman. McIntosh's sixth home run of the year helped the Indians to a 10-5 victory.

At Fort Osage, many student-athletes and coaches talk about families, rather than teams.

Pitcher Anna Morton and catcher Ariya Morton take that deep belief a step further – as they are actual family members.

“We’re real family, along with our Fort Osage family,” said Anna, who starred on the mound Monday afternoon at Fort Osage, where she allowed just two earned runs in a 10-5 Suburban Middle Six Conference victory over William Chrisman. “I love pitching to my sister, there’s no one I trust more than her and I feel so confident with her behind the plate.”

That comment brought a smile and nod of approval from Ariya.

“I agree with that,” Ariya said. “We’re super comfortable pitching and catching in games. I thought Anna pitched a great game, and this is the time of the year when you want to be playing your best. District starts after next week and we want to go indo district with a lot of confidence and momentum.”

Fort Osage pitcher Anna Morton throws to a William Chrisman batter in Monday's game. Morton allowed just two earned runs as the Indians claimed a 10-5 win.

Anna and Ariyan are thrilled that leadoff hitter Kyra McIntosh is also part of the Indians’ family as she scored three times and hit her sixth home run of the season.

When asked why a player with that type of talent leads off, Indians coach Kelly Sullivan grinned and said, “She likes hitting leadoff and look what she did for us tonight. She scored three runs – and hit that homer. I’ll take a homer from my leadoff hitter.”

Now, it was McIntosh’s turn to nod in approval.

“I’m not really a slap hitter, although I like to bunt and I will bunt for a hit,” said McIntosh, who reached on an error and walked, leading to her other runs scored. “We have such a great hitting team, if I can get on base, I know someone is going to knock me in. And if I get a homer, I score so I like to swing the bat hard and see what happens.”

Fort Osage's Kyra McIntosh rounds third as she scores one of her three runs in a 10-5 victory over William Chrisman Monday.

The Indians scored a solo run in the top of the first when McIntosh reached on an error, stole second and scored on Alyssa Garlock’s RBI single.

Fort Osage's Alysa Garlock knocks an RBI hit in Monday's home game against William Chrisman. The Indians went on to claim a 10-5 win.

Ariya Morton and Nevaeh Wilson added RBI singles in the second and McIntosh led off the third with her sixth homer and Lindsey Barker added an RBI on an infield groundout.

The Bears cut the lead to 5-3 in fourth on two Indians errors and Isabel Dufva’s infield groundout.

But Fort took control with a five-run fifth inning that was fueled by walks and Bears’ miscues.

“I was proud of our girls because they never gave up tonight,” Chrisman Bears coach Lindsey Ramsey said after her team fell to 7-14 and 2-3. “We scored that late run and kept hitting the ball well, but Fort Osage is a solid overall team and we just couldn’t find a way to beat them tonight.”

Fort Osage's Dawn McIntyre (4) slides into second base safely as William Chrisman second baseman Clarissa Etter tries to handle the throw in Monday's game at Fort Osage. The host Indians went on to a 10-5 victory.

The Indians improved to 12-9 and 3-2, and Sullivan is eager to see what they do the rest of the season.

“We’ve been playing good ball lately and we’re in that part of our schedule where we’re playing a lot of our conference opponents a second time,” Sullivan said. “You want to be playing your best ball right now, and I hope we can continue to do that.”

Fort Osage second baseman Emma James turns after forcing out William Chrisman's Gracie Ussery in Monday's game. Fort Osage claimed a 10-5 win.