With a trip to the regional tournament on the line, the Shawnee High School softball team couldn’t figure out Monroe pitcher Alyssa Wagner.
The Hornets junior struck out 10 batters, allowing two hits en route to a 4-0 victory over Shawnee in a Division II district final game at Brookville High School.
“She threw a whale of a game,” said Shawnee coach Chris Roberts. “She kept us off balance. She threw the ball well, put it where she wanted it. We never squared her up very well. We hit a lot of pop-ups and never really squared her up.”
Monroe scored four runs on five hits in the fourth inning to take a lead it would never relinquish, especially with Wagner on the mound.
“It was pretty uncharacteristic the way we played,” Roberts said. “I don’t think we had our best game. We had a lot of little minor errors, mental kind of mistakes. … It was one inning. It was 13 half-innings of nothing and then one team scored four. I credit them.”
The Braves’ Alise Moneypenny advanced to second on a Hornets errors to lead off the second inning and courtesy runner Arleigh Beckel eventually moved to third with one out, but the Braves weren’t able to bring her home.
In the fourth inning, Monroe’s Sam Ross led off the inning with a double and scored on a single by Erin Dyke that fell into short left field to make it 1-0.
“We just had some miscommunication between our shortstop and our outfield,” Roberts said. “It just kind of snowballed after that. I give to credit to Monroe. They earned the win.”
MacKenzie Moore followed with a single and teammate Emily Mullins doubled to score both Dyke and Moore to make it 3-0. The Hornets’ Honour Stevens singled to move Mullins to third and Wagner followed with a sacrifice bunt to make it 4-0.
The Braves have been a late-scoring team all year long, Roberts said. Shawnee’s Taylor Cox singled to start the fifth inning, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
“It kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Roberts said. “I thought we would make a push, we just never got to that big enough push.”
The Braves put two runners on the ninth inning, but weren’t able to put any runs on the board.
“We never give up,” Roberts said. “It’s been that way all year long.”
The Braves advanced to the district final for the second time in four seasons. Shawnee finished its season 18-8. They’ll graduate three seniors in Paree Furness, Josie Gray and Hannah Spitzer, but should return nine underclassmen next season.
“We’ll miss our three seniors,” Roberts said. “We’re a really young team so hopefully we’ll build on this and be back here next year. The future is definitely bright.”
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