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West Union’s north half road series posed a tough environment, and the Lady Eagles were unable to rally after falling in the first game, with Smithville moving on to Saturday’s 1A state championship.
“We didn’t hit well the entire series, but we did hit better in the second game,” Lady Eagles head coach Lisa Bogue said. “We didn’t like the atmosphere, but we adjusted to it. All of the distractions; the fans lined up in the outfield, hanging over the fence, yelling at our outfielders, and it kept being allowed to happen. It was just too much for us to swallow. “
The Lady Eagles had a tough time at the plate in the 7-0 game one loss. Julianna Garner had two of West Union’s four hits, and three of the team’s hits came in the third inning. In that frame, West loaded the bases with two outs, but they were unable to bring in a run. After that, the Lady Eagles were held hitless for the remainder of the first game.
Smithville scored its first run in the second inning, and added five runs over the third and fourth frames. Kyla Ford had four hits to lead the Lady Seminoles’ offense.
Despite the offensive struggles, Bogue encouraged her team to keep fighting to force a deciding third game.
“I told them that it’s not over yet; you have to keep battling and try to make it to that third game,” she said. “That was our plan, and we gave it our best shot. We just fell short.”
Smithville jumped on top early in the second game, scoring five runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run home run by Laken Armstrong. West Union scored its first run of the series in the bottom of the inning, as Julianna Garner scored on a throwing error.
Both teams scored two runs in the second, with Jesslyn Brewer and Callie Baggett bringing in the runs for the Lady Eagles. Smithville went ahead 8-3 by the sixth inning, but the Lady Eagles cut into that lead, scoring two runs in the frame, with Gina Beth Conlee and Jodie McMillin bringing in runs to make it 8-5, the game’s final. West Union had bases loaded with two outs in that inning, but a clutch play by Smithville's Macy McCain kept the Lady Eagles from adding any more runs.
“Smithville’s a great team, and I wish them well,” Bogue said. “I hope they win it all.”
Gracen Conlee had two hits for the Lady Eagles in the second game.