Fight for the final four

Katelyn+Massa%2C+catcher%2C+shoots+the+ball+to+left+field%2C+Oct.+24.

Courtney Pinnell

Katelyn Massa, catcher, shoots the ball to left field, Oct. 24.

Chris Barnett, Sports editor

The Varsity Softball Team has been to the state final four each of the last four years. They have never won the semifinal game to go to the championship; the girls looked to change that against the Holt Indians, Oct. 24.

The Indians started fast against Abby Deane, pitcher, and the Wildcat defense.

After a hit, an error, a sacrifice fly and an RBI single, the Indians led by two runs just four batters into the game.

“Most of our team is made up of underclassmen,” Katelyn Massa, catcher, said. “I think a lot of them were nervous.”

The Wildcats got back into the game in the bottom of the second inning with a home run by Casey Plank, center field, cutting the lead in half, 2-1.

“That was a big hit,” Mr. Mark Mosely, head coach, said. “It got us right back in the game.”

The Indians added two more runs in the top of the third to stretch their lead, 4-1.

Holt seemingly broke the game wide open in the top of the fourth inning with a barrage of timely hits and Wildcat errors, adding four more runs to their lead, 8-1.

The time came for the Wildcats to come together and fight back as a team.

“I handed it over to my senior leaders at that point,” Coach Mosely said. “I figured it would mean more coming from them.”

Deane led off the bottom of the fourth with a single down the left field line followed by a two run bomb off Massa’s bat.

“I was looking for a pitcher’s mistake,” Massa said. “I knew the pitch was a mistake right away and I took advantage of it.”

After Plank’s second should-be home run was robbed by the Indians’ center fielder, the next six batter reached base.

The last of the scoring came on at double by Ashley Poore, second base, bringing in two runs and cutting the lead to two, 8-6.

“Our energy level just rose,” Poore said. “We started having fun.”

Following a very offensive fourth inning for both teams, the fifth and sixth innings were both scoreless.

The Indians added an insurance run in the sixth after two singles made in first and second with one out and another drove in a run, 9-6.

“Defensively we had some lapses,” Coach Mosely said. “That really cost us.”

The Wildcats would need three runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.

That prospect was feasible as the Wildcats had the same part of the order up as they did in their huge fourth inning.

Deane lined out to start the inning followed by a pop out by Massa. A walk by Plank kept their hopes alive, but the three-run lead was too much.

The Wildcats fell, 9-6.

Afterwards, they gathered to regroup before they played in the third place game later that day.

“We just told them how proud we were of them,” Coach Mosely said. “We weren’t even supposed to be here so it was a big deal.”

The Wildcats started this season with a record of 4-10 before rattling off 12 wins in a row to take them back to the final four.

In the third place game the Wildcats fell to Jefferson City, 8-0, resulting in a fourth place finish in Class 4.