MONETT — The McDonald County Lady Mustangs earned the Big 8 Conference title with a 5-4 win in eight innings Tuesday over Monett.

Monett fell behind 4-2 after McDonald County plated one run in both the first and second and two more in the fourth, but Monett tied it up with one in the sixth and one in the seventh.

In the decisive eighth inning, Rita Santillan hit a single and Monett pitcher Kassie McCallister walked Whitney Kinser, Kylie Helm, and Alexa Hopkins in consecutive fashion with two outs to push across Santillan for the 5-4 score.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of the eighth, Hopkins put out the fire herself with three straight strikeouts.

Hopkins earned the win with four runs allowed (three earned) on eight hits over eight innings and she struck out five and walked none.

McCallister, meanwhile, took a loss with five runs allowed (three earned) on 10 hits over eight innings and she did not have Hopkins’ command of the zone with four strikeouts and six walks, including those costly three straight in the eighth.

Chloe Colvin enjoyed a huge day at the plate for the Lady Mustangs with four hits (all singles), two runs scored, and one RBI. Santillan also scored two runs and Leslie Yousey rounded out the runs scored with her single run, while Helm found her way steady on base with two hits and two walks. Helm drove in two to lead the Lady Mustangs and Colvin, Hopkins, and Madeline McCall each picked up RBI. McCall joined Helm in working a pair of walks from McCallister.

McDonald County improved to 19-3 overall with the win Tuesday and the Lady Mustangs close out their season Friday and Saturday in the Carthage Invitational.
McDonald County and Monett could quite possibly meet again in the upcoming Class 3, District 12 tournament, and this rematch would be for a district title.

McDonald County earned the No. 1 seed, followed by Seneca, Monett, Cassville, Carl Junction, and Aurora in that order from 2-6.

The Lady Mustangs await the winner of Cassville and Carl Junction in the semifinals.

Aurora hosts this season’s district tournament.