By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
KOSSUTH – Errors have taken a toll on Kossuth this season. They nearly ended the Lady Aggies’ season.
Mantachie tied the MHSAA Class 3A best-of-three series at a game apiece with an eighth-inning Game 2 rally and win – in large part thanks to six Kossuth errors. But the host Lady Aggies took Game 3 by a 5-2 score and advanced to the state quarterfinals.
Ace Carleigh Mills allowed only four hits in the closer, two runs on Regan McFerrin’s triple.
“Errors and not hitting the ball, we hit it when we needed to tonight,” Kossuth coach Steve Lyles said. “We’ve got to get leadoff people on and score. Carleigh’s a bulldog.”
Kossuth (16-10) advances to face Mooreville, with Game 1 of that series on Thursday.
Kossuth scored a run in the first and second inning on RBI singles from Jordan Dickson and Madison Switcher and went up 4-0 on Paden Tomlin’s RBI single and error in the third.
Kossuth won despite heroic efforts from Mantachie senior pitcher Mallory Clouse. Clouse was hospitalized with dizziness Friday night after two innings in Game 1 and pitched 15 innings Monday.
“I’ll be honest. I offered her some help in that last game,” Mantachie coach Kristi Montgomery said. “She said senior year she wanted to win it or lose it.”
Mantachie (16-10) made it a long night, rallying from three runs down and scoring eight in the extra inning of a 13-8 win to tie the series. Two infield singles from Clouse and Shelby Kindt were followed by McFerrin’s single for a 6-5 lead.
The fifth of Kossuth’s six crucial errors saw two runs cross a batter later and Maggie Oswalt added a two-run triple.
Dickson’s 3-run home run put Kossuth ahead 4-1 in the third inning of a game that went just shy of 21⁄2 hours.
“It was rough but we got it done,” Mills said. “We stayed positive.”