SARCOXIE — The Diamond Lady Wildcats punched their ticket to the Class 1, District 11 semifinals with a 8-0 victory Monday afternoon over Verona at Sarcoxie High.
Diamond scored two runs in the first and five in the second, while freshman Madi Bridges and senior Mariayna Rowe combined on an one-hitter.
The Lady Wildcats pushed across seven runs in the first two innings — two in the first and five in the second — and it looked as if the game would be shortened by run-rule. Instead, Diamond did not score again until scoring one more run in the sixth.
Freshman catcher Alyssa Wright hit a two-run home run to start the scoring. Leadoff hitter Lauryn Macy worked a walk to start the bottom of the first.
Freshman shortstop Lexy Bridges started the Diamond second with a single and Macy’s two-run triple highlighted the Lady Wildcats’ five-run outburst. Macy scored on a passed ball, Bentley plated freshman Leslie Watson on a single, and McKaley Greninger’s 4-3 groundout brought home Wright, who Verona elected to intentionally walk rather than pitch to after that big home run the first time.
Bentley gave an often dominating performance in the circle Monday — over the first four innings, only Verona pitcher and No. 4 hitter Paige Bauer avoided the strikeout. Bauer led off the second with a walk and Bentley struck out nine straight batters after that walk. Bentley had 12 strikeouts after four.
Verona loaded the bases in the fifth after two Diamond errors and one walk, but Diamond’s freshman fireballer struck out the side.
Hailee Wilkinson broke up Bentley’s no-hitter with a double leading off the sixth. Bentley picked up her 16th and 17th strikeouts to maintain the shutout.
Hadyn Russow closed out the scoring in the Diamond sixth with a two-out single.
Diamond improved to 13-8 overall entering the semifinal game against No. 3 seed Sarcoxie. Sarcoxie defeated Pierce City 13-1 in the first game Monday; Sarcoxie — 13-12 overall — beat Pierce City for the third time this season.
In their earlier meeting this season, Diamond edged Sarcoxie 3-2 in Southwest Conference play.
Top seed Mount Vernon and No. 4 Miller play in the other semifinal — Mount Vernon defeated College Heights 10-0 and Miller defeated Ash Grove 10-6 in the final game Monday.