Lady Eagles fall short of state title
Strafford tops Purdy for 2nd time this season
On a bright and blustery Sunday in Springfield, the Purdy softball team was hoping for more bluster from their bats and a brighter result, as the Lady Eagles fell to Strafford in the state championship game, 3-0.
Purdy started off strong, holding Strafford hitless until the fourth inning, when Rilie Vote led off with a solo home run over the left middle of the wall. The crack gave the Lady Indians some confidence, as a line drive later plated two more runs to give Strafford a 3-0 lead.
Purdy had one hit through five innings, leaving the one hitter and a walked batter stranded in consecutive innings. The Lady Eagles got their bats pitches, but were plagued by pop fly and line drive catches, hitting leather more often than dirt.
In the sixth, McKenzie Renkoski bunted her way to base with her speed, and Hallie Henderson was walked to put two on. However, Rion Boyd's hit hung too high down the first base line and was caught, stranding the runners.
In the top of the 7th, Henderson struck out two batters to reach 12 K's on the day, nearly unblemished outside of the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the 7th, Purdy's three batters connected each time, but two throws from short stop to first and a pop fly catch in center field sent Purdy home with the silver.
Henderson's dozen strikeouts are the most ever in a championship game, and her 13 in the semifinal tied the record for the most in a Final Four contest.
The Lady Eagles finish the season with a 26-2 record, with both losses coming at the hands of the Lady Indians.