Kingsley-Pierson softball beats MMCRU on walk-off

Friday, July 8, 2022

KINGSLEY — There was plenty of late-game drama in Wednesday’s Class 1A regional quarterfinal softball game between MMCRU and Kingsley-Pierson. The lead changed three times in the final two innings including at the end of the game as the Panthers rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat the Royals 11-10.

A pitch which bounced to the backstop allowed Makenna Bowman to score from third base for the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. McKenzie Goodwin tied the game earlier in the inning with a two-out, three-run home run over the fence in left-center, her second home run of the season.

Goodwin helped spark the rally for the team in the previous inning as they trailed 6-3. She sent a double to the gap in left-center to drive in one run. Bowman followed with a three-run home run of her own to put the Panthers in front 7-6. The blast to right-center field was her fourth homer of the season as she has homered in both of the team’s postseason games.

MMCRU had jumped out to a 4-0 lead with three runs in the first and another in the third before the Panthers chipped away for one run in each of the third, fourth and fifth frames. The Royals extended their lead with two runs in the sixth before Bowman’s blast gave the Panthers their first lead of the night.

MMCRU responded with four runs in the top of the seventh inning. The Royals tied the game back up on an RBI sacrifice bunt from Avery Schlenger. Isabelle Olson capped a 4-for-5 game at the plate with one of her two doubles which drove in half of her team-leading 4 RBI in the game. Taylor Harpenau traded places with Olson with a double of her own in the next at-bat which put the Royals in front by a 10-7 score.

Olson ended up taking the loss. She pitched six of the innings and gave up eight runs, four of which were earned, while striking out three. Kaleigh Gravenish allowed the other three runs, two of which were earned, in an inning of work. Hannah Koch earned the win for the Panthers while pitching a complete game.

MMCRU finishes the season with a 15-12 record as they lost both meetings with the Panthers this season. The Royals will say goodbye to seniors Mya Holmes, Emily Dreckman, Taylor Harpenau, Kirsten Letsche and Makenzie Meyer.

Kingsley-Pierson will take a 19-10 record into Friday’s regional semifinal contest at No. 5 ranked Remsen St. Mary’s (25-2). The last meeting between those two teams came in last year’s regional quarterfinal round, an 11-1 win for the Hawks in six innings.

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