The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

October 26, 2013

Webb City advances to state softball title

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Megan Heman had prepared herself for the moment.

“In practice, Coach will make us think through situations ... what are you going to do if there is a 3-2 count, what are you going to do in these different situations if there is somebody on base,” Heman said. “You think your way through it so you can do it whenever it comes around.”

On a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Heman delivered a single to center field to score Emily Harris from second base and give Webb City a 1-0 victory over Eureka in a Class 4 softball semifinal game Friday afternoon.

The Cardinals (22-4) advanced to the championship game for the first time 2007. They face Lee’s Summit (22-6), a 3-1 winner over Parkway North, in the title game today at 2 p.m. in the Killian Softball Complex stadium.

Webb City had only one hit — a two-out single to right-center by Heman in the third inning — through seven innings.

With one out in the eighth, Emily Harris, the No. 7 hitter in the lineup, lined a single to right field, and she moved to second on Mikaela Burgess’ sacrifice bunt.

Heman then grounded a full-count pitch into center field, and Harris slid across home plate to touch off a Cardinals celebration.

“All I could think was this is our time, this is your time to do it,” Heman said. “It was nerve-racking. It was awesome. I knew I had my teammates behind me, and I had everyone behind me. I knew we could make it happen.”

“The bottom (of the lineup) has done that at times all year long,” Cardinals coach Walter Resa said. “It doesn’t really matter where anybody bats. It’s 1 through 9 as a team, and we try to make it a team game, and they showed it today.

“As a senior, what else do you want, and I have plenty of seniors to rely on,” Resa said. “The thing is, Megan got our first hit of the game, and it’s only right that she got the last hit of the game.”

The Cardinals almost scored the winning run in the seventh. Instead, the inning ended on a bizarre double play.

Kaitlin Beason reached on a throwing error to start the inning, hustling to second on the play, and with one out she alertly moved to third on a pitch in the dirt.

Morgan Lammey hit a popup halfway between home plate and the pitcher’s circle that both pitcher Madeline Krumrey and third baseman Samantha Witte called for. The ball popped out of Krumrey’s glove as Witte ran into her and the ball rolled toward the backstop. Catcher Katelyn Massa retrieved the ball and threw to Krumrey at the plate, who tagged out Beason on an extremely close play.

Lammey, who had rounded second base as Beason was thrown out, continued toward third. Krumrey’s throw to shortstop Jamie Fowle at third base went off Fowle’s glove and into shallow left field. However, left fielder Allison Craft picked up the ball and threw to Massa to retire Lammey for the final out. Plus, the umpires ejected Lammey, telling the Webb City coaches that she slid too late on the play.

“It was kind of unbelievable ... we were like what just happened?” Heman said. “But we knew we could bounce back from it. We’ve done it before.”

“I was ready to go on (anything),” Beason said. “We caught a break (with the dropped popup), and on the play, you have to leave it up to the umpire. He called me out, but I knew we could get them the next inning.”

The game developed into the anticipating pitching dual between Beason (18-2) and Krumrey (20-3) as each allowed three singles. Beason struck out eight batters, walked two and gave up only one hit in the last six innings. Krumrey fanned 13 and walked one.

“She worked the outside corner and we had a hard time hitting that pitch,” Beason said. “You just have to find a way to get one run, and Megan did that for us.

“I believe I could have been better, but we got the ‘W’ and that’s all that matters.”

“Both pitchers did great,” Eureka coach Mark Mosley said. “I’m extremely proud of Maddie. She did a fantastic job. They were the ones who were fortunate enough to get the two hits in the inning that they needed.”

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