With an outright claim to the MRVC-East Softball Championship on the line, the Lady Eagles softball team defeated Carrollton by the final score of 4-1 on Thursday, Oct. 5.
The Lady Eagles end the season with an undefeated MRVC-East mark of 10-0 after sweeping through the home-away season series in games against Carrollton, Higginsville, Knob Noster, Lexington, and Richmond. Carrollton places second with a mark of 8-2.
Lady Eagles pitcher Jazzy Brown recorded the win against Carrollton last Thursday. The sophomore pitcher allowed only four hits while recording nine strikeouts.
Holden totaled six hits and drew four walks in the game against Carrollton’s number-one pitcher Jenna Edwards.
“We faced them the same game last year when we were up 9-0 in conference, and they had one loss,” said coach Smith who tipped his cap to Edwards’s mound performance last season that pushed Carrollton to a win, forcing a co-championship between Holden and Carrollton last year.
“She came out firing on all cylinders last year and kept us to no runs. We knew she was going to probably be on today. We just prepared to scoot up in the box, take the drop ball away, and just make contact. We knew if we put pressure on them, we’d make them make mistakes, and we run the bases well enough that we were going to take advantage. That was kind of the plan for today, and it kind of worked out well.”
Five total stolen bases by Holden in last Thursday’s game kept the pressure on the Lady Trojans as first baseman Lilee Keller and shortstop Addy Campbell each swiped two stolen bases. Haley Brooks added one stolen base. A sixth stolen base was nullified on a questionable out call during a stolen base attempt by Ady Yoder in the fifth inning.
Holden put two runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning after Campbell drew a leadoff walk and proceeded to steal second base. Keller reached base on a ground ball to put two runners on before Abby Sisk grounded into an out on a fielder’s choice that scored Campbell.
Two batters later, Addilyn Wooster hit a sharp ground ball to second base that allowed Keller to score for Holden’s second run of the inning.
The top of the second inning began with Macey Greene drawing a walk. Greene advanced to second on a sacrifice fly by Jazzy Brow and moved to third on a ground out by Campbell. Greene raced home on a wild pitch to score Holden’s third run with Keller at bat. Keller would single before the inning ended on a strikeout.
Carrollton scored its only run of the game on a ground ball by Edwards with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Jazzy Brown recorded a strikeout, then coaxed a line out to Keller at first base to end the third.
The Lady Eagles found the final run of the game in the fourth inning on a double by Keller that scored Campbell.
In Carrollton’s last at-bat, Holden forced a one-two-three inning on a pop out to Campbell at shortstop, a strikeout pitched by Jazzy Brown, and a ground out to Lilli Bay at second base who tossed the ball to Keller at first to end the game.
“Our top two in our lineup there, Addy Campbell and Lilee Keller, they came up big,” said coach Smith. “Addy was on and scored I think two runs, I believe, and Lilee came up with some clutch hits there in scoring position. Adi Wooster had a big hit in the gap there that should have scored a run…(Ady Yoder) should have had a stolen base that should have scored a run on that (hit). I was proud of our girls for hanging tough.”
As noted, Jazzy Brown recorded nine strikeouts. She allowed no walks while giving up just one earned run. Brown recorded 10 strikeouts versus Carrollton in a 7-2 home win over the Lady Trojans on Sept. 19.
“She kept them off-balance the first time we played them, and she did it again tonight,” said Keller in regard to Brown. “I thought she did amazing.”
Senior right fielder Faith Brown also applauded Jazzy Brown’s pitching performance in the game.
“I thought she overcame a lot,” said the senior Brown. “She is very level-headed.”
The senior also noted Keller’s play at first base as Faith Brown backed Keller up from Brown’s right field position during the game.
“She had some really good picks,” said Brown of Keller.
Keller led the team with two hits and one RBI in facing Carrollton’s Edwards. Keller also recorded two hits and an RBI versus Edwards in Holden’s 7-2 home win over Carrollton.
“She’s a good pitcher, but I’ve played against her so much that I kind of know her secrets and what she’s going to throw when she gets to a certain part in the count. That’s helpful,” said Keller of Edwards.
In reference to Holden’s key to winning the conference clinching game, Keller added, “I think we had more mental toughness than they did and were able to overcome more adversity.”
The conference championship marks Holden’s third MRVC-East title in the past four years after winning it outright in the 2020 season, sharing a co-championship with Carrollton last year, and again winning it outright this year.
“It was definitely one of our goals for the year,” said coach Smith. “It seems we’re always in the annual conference championship game against Carrollton. Definitely going 10-0 in conference is a big deal. Us and Carrollton have been dueling it out for the last four years, it seems like, and we’ll still be dueling it out next year because this pitcher is still going to be here.”
Lone Lady Eagle senior Faith Brown who was recognized during Holden’s Senior Night win over Richmond two nights prior summed up the successful close to the regular season.
“It’s my second one,” said Brown of the outright conference championship. “It’s been a really good week. It’s been exciting.”
Campbell finished the game with a team-high 3 hits and had 1 walk. Sisk had 2 RBIs. Faith Brown, Addilyn Wooster, Haley Brooks, and Olivia Wooster each had 1 hit. Olivia Wooster totaled 3 RBIs. Sisk had 2 RBIs.
After the Holden softball team’s win over Carrollton, the Lady Eagles held an overall record of 22-6, and end the season with an MRVC-East Championship mark of 10-0.
The Holden softball team begins play in the Class 3, District 7 Softball Tournament this Thursday, October 12. Holden plays Notre Dame de Sion on Thursday at 6 p.m. Oak Grove High School hosts the district tournament.