After her first two at-bats Friday in the Missouri Class 4 state semifinals resulted in weak popups, Lee’s Summit sophomore Alexis Reed made an adjustment. She says it took a concerted effort to stay patient, keep her weight back a split-second longer and throw her hands at the ball.
It added up to a memorable third trip to the plate.
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Reed blasted a two-run homer over the left-field fence, a sixth-inning tiebreaking shot in Lee’s Summit’s 3-1 victory against Parkway North. The Tigers move on to face Webb City at 2 p.m. today in the Class 4 state championship game.
“I took a couple of steps toward first, and I heard everyone yelling behind me. That’s when I knew it went over the fence,” Reed said. “I was just really excited.”
Reed provided the offense. Emily Robinson ensured Parkway North couldn’t match it.
Parkway North, 20-7, came from behind twice last week in reaching the state tournament, but Robinson retired the side in order in both the sixth and seventh innings, preserving the win. She scattered five hits and struck out seven over the complete-game effort, improving her season record to 15-3.
“Emily was outstanding,” Lee’s Summit coach Tracy Bertoncin said. “The thing we talked about with Parkway North is it isn’t a team you can let up against because they’re such a good hitting team, they will come back against you. But Emily didn’t let that happen. She got the job done.”
Leadoff hitter Mo Mosier paced the offense with three hits and a run for the Tigers, who improved to 23-6.
Their opponent in today’s title game, Webb City, defeated Eureka 1-0 in eight innings Friday.
“They have a very good pitcher who mixes her pitches very well,” Bertoncin said. “It seems like they’re (in the state tournament) every year. They’ll be tough.”
Harrisonville takes fourth in Class 3
It took the Harrisonville Wildcats seven years to return to the Missouri Class 3 state tournament after winning the event in 2006.
The return trip was a short one.
Centralia handed Harrisonville a 3-0 loss in the semifinals Friday before De Soto took down the Wildcats 5-1 in the third-place game.
Centralia jumped out to a two-run lead in the first inning of the semifinal matchup, and that offered plenty of support for pitcher Baylee Douglass, who struck out 13.
“With her in the circle, it made it really hard to come back,” Wildcats coach David Hix said. “I had some girls telling me they had never seen a ball move like that before.”
Harrisonville catcher Leeann Farren tripled home a first-inning run against De Soto, but De Soto used a four-run seventh to pull away in the third-place game.
“We have nothing to be ashamed of. There are 92 other teams that would trade places with us right now,” Hix said. “We didn’t win a game, but this will keep this group hungry for next year.”
Harrisonville has only two seniors on its roster.