MONTGOMERY CITY, Mo. – There will be a new softball champion in Class 2 this season.
The Monroe City softball team erased a one-run deficit after five innings to stun Bowling Green, the two-time reigning state champion, 8-5 in the Class 2 District 5 championship game Saturday afternoon.
“We knew there were beatable if we showed up and play how we know how to play,” Monroe City coach Melissa Chinn said. “They were never down or felt defeated. They were just confident in their play.”
That showed in the top of the sixth inning.
The first three Panthers reached based when Danielle Pfanner doubled, Bailee Hays singled and Riley Quinn reached on an error that scored Pfanner to tie the game. Hays scored on a passed ball that gave Monroe City a 4-3 advantage. After a strikeout, Belle Clark doubled to score Quinn, which made it 5-3. Madelyn Meyer followed with an RBI single to make it 6-3.
Quinn worked around a lead off double in the bottom of the sixth, and Hays belted a two-run homer in the top of the seventh, which made it 8-3.
Those runs were needed as Bowling Green put together a two-out rally in the seventh, but shortstop Lauren Youngblood made a tag for the final out.
Monroe City hosts Palmyra, a 5-1 winner over Highland, in Wednesday's sectional round. Palmyra beat Monroe City earlier this season on a walk-off victory.
“I think they're excited to see Palmyra again,” Chinn said. “The way that game ended, that sucked. Now they get a chance to redeem themselves.”
Monroe City struck first in the opening frame on Pfanner's RBI groundout for a 1-0 lead. Clark hit a solo homer in the second inning to push the lead to 2-0. Bowling Green, however, scored twice in the third before taking the lead in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk.
Monroe City had 10 hits as Pfanner, Hays, Clark and Meyer all had two hits apiece.
Quinn threw all seven innings for the Panthers, scattering 10 hits while allowing five runs. She struck out three and walked four.