Nevada Daily Mail
WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- The Nevada Lady Tigers softball team opened postseason play under cool, windy conditions Thursday with a semifinal matchup in the Class 3, District 13 tournament at the University of Central Missouri Recreation Complex against the Clinton Lady Cardinals.
The Lady Cardinals got to the tournament semifinals with a 6-5 win over Holden, while the Lady Tigers got a first-round bye. In the last meeting between Clinton and Nevada on Sept. 19, the Lady Tigers used a six-run sixth inning to open the game up and earn the victory by a final score of 8-0.
The Lady Tigers were forced to play without regular starting catcher Kayler Ast as she was sidelined due to a sprained MCL she suffered in the championship game of the Carthage tournament against Webb City. That didn't seem to be much of a problem for the Lady Tigers as they were able to get the bats going early and weathered a late offensive storm by the Lady Cardinals, holding on to take a 7-4 victory.
The Lady Tigers wasted little time getting the offense going against Lady Cardinals starter Chelsea Thornley as they put up two runs in the opening frame on a RBI single by Carsten Warner and a RBI sacrifice fly by Christian Novak. The Lady Tigers weren't done yet as they added three more insurance runs in the second inning with RBI hits by Reagan Bradley and Mackenzie Pritchett and a sacrifice bunt by Cheyenne Brewer.
The Lady Tigers tacked on another run on Novak's RBI groundout in the bottom of the fifth that brought home Warner. The final run came in the home half of the sixth when pinch-hitter Tayten Starlin knocked in Taryn Charles with a single.
Novak gave up the pitching circle to Warner after allowing no runs on just two hits with 11 strikeouts in six innings. Warner took over in the pitching circle for the game's final frame and allowed two runs on three hits with two walks, before leaving the game with the bases loaded.
Novak took back the mound and the Lady Cardinals ultimately went on to score two more runs in the frame, but the Lady Tigers ultimately held on for a 7-4 win. Novak's final totals included 13 strikeouts and two hits, while Warner was charged with four runs on three hits with a walk.
The Lady Tigers finished the game scoring seven runs on eight hits with two errors and five runners left on base. Clinton scored four runs on six hits with two errors and four left on base.
With the win, the Lady Tigers improved to 16-8 on the year and are now scheduled to take on top-seeded Pleasant Hill for the district championship. Pleasant Hill defeated the Lady Wildcats of Harrisonville by a final score of 10-3.
First pitch for the championship game is set for 5 p.m., today, weather permitting.