The Grain Valley Lady Eagles and Trenton Lady Bulldogs locked horns in a nail-biting thriller on Monday night, with the visitors from Grain Valley holding on for a 2-1 win in the Class 3 state softball quarterfinals, broadcast on Hot Country Z 101.7 and www.kgozfm.com.
You can listen back to the audio broadcast of the game by clicking on this link:
Click here to listen to Monday night's Class 3 quarterfinal game
The story of the game was two-fold, with the offense stifled by the strong pitching of right-handers Brooklynne Simbeck of Grain Valley and Scotlin Hurley of Trenton. The other part of the story came from the ability of Simbeck to come up with clutch pitches, as the host Lady Bulldogs left, in frustrating fashion, eight runners stranded on the base paths over the course of the seven-inning contest.
After four innings of scoreless softball, Grain Valley seized on an opening given by the Trenton defense to open the top of the fifth inning, as a mishandled pop-up resulted in the only error of the game, and left Sydney Fry at first base. Fry moved to second on a ground ball by Kelsi Hill, and scored the first run of the game on a single by Brooklynne Simbeck. Simbeck moved to second base on the throw to the plate, and courtesy runner Kaylee Hutchens scored on a single by Lena Sanders.
Hurley shut the door from there, and the Lady Bulldog offense responded in the sixth, cutting the lead in half, as Makaila Capeder drove home Scotlin Hurley (who had doubled with one out) with a two-out base knock:
Click here to listen to Makaila Capeder's RBI single
Grain Valley received a fortunate bit of luck to escape the sixth with the lead, as Kate Lowrey hit a pop fly into short center field, that deflected off the glove of Hill, but deflected right to shortstop Taylor Mays for the out.
Trenton, needing just one clutch hit to advance to the Final Four in the bottom of the seventh inning, was able to load the bases, as Simbeck, fighting nerves, walked Rahel Horner, McKinley Hurley, and Madi Trump to load the bases with two out. To her credit, with the crowd at a fever pitch, Worden was able to end the game with her ninth strikeout of the game, sending Grain Valley, with a record of 24-6, into the Missouri softball "Final Four" for the first time in school history.
Trenton, a team buoyed by seven superb seniors in its first season as a Class 3 school, ends the campaign with a record of 24-4, a third district championship in four years, and a memorable 1-0 sectional victory over Benton last Wednesday night in St. Joseph.
The Lady Bulldogs, looking forward to 2013, will have somewhat of a rebuilding task, but Trenton will return strong talent, led by juniors Madi Trump, Cassidy Cotton, and Makaila Capeder; and sophomores Megan Lynch, McKinley Hurley; and Mallory Hooyman. Hooyman and freshman Daryian Otto will be the top two returning pitchers for the now traditional powerhouse program at Trenton High School.