Kansas used good pitching and defense to defeat Missouri 8-3 and 4-0 in the MO-KAN All-Star Softball series Monday at the Shawnee Mission District Softball Complex in Shawnee.
Special to The Star
The two victories in the best-of-three series gave Kansas an 8-5 edge in the all-time standings of the matchup between senior all-stars from both sides of the state line.
It was treat to watch these great players, Kansas coach Mark Balderston of Shawnee Mission Northwest said.
Balderstons Kansas squad got off to a quick start in the first game. Kansas scored two runs in each of the first two innings and a run in the third to take a 5-0 lead.
Kearneys Kailey Green, who took the loss pitching the first three innings, got the first of just three hits for the Missouri team when she lofted a long home run over the 210-foot mark in left field to bring the Missouri back in the game at 5-3.
But Olathe East pitcher Jenni Brooks took control after that. She fanned nine and walked just one in picking up the victory.
She got some more run support as Kansas put the game away with three runs in fifth inning.
Blue Valley Northwest shortstop Madison Jones was three for three with a double and an RBI in the first game. SM Northwest third baseman Bailey Letts had a double.
The second game was scoreless until Kansas pushed across three runs in he bottom of the third.
It was Letts one-out double over the left fielders head that pushed across the first run.
Kansas picked up the fourth run in the bottom of the seventh. Mill Valley second baseman Kelli Springs pushed a single between third and shortstop and then reached second on an error. She moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a weird play.
Blue Valleys Anna Varriano lofted a foul ball towards the Missouri dugout. The first baseman and catcher both were there with the first baseman making the catch. But that left the plate uncovered and Springs took advantage and scored.
SM Northwest pitcher Katt Cooper only allowed five hits in going the first 61/3 innings. She struck out seven and walked just one batter.
BV Northwests Jones was chosen as the MVP for the Kansas team. Besides picking up the three hits in the first game, she brought the leather in the second game from shortstop.
With runners on first and second with two outs in the fourth, she dove to her left to snare a line drive and then in the fifth inning with runners on first and third and one out, she cut down a runner at the plate with a strong throw to Aquinas catcher Lexie Zuniga.