The Gallatin Lady Bulldogs and South Harrison Lady Bulldogs represented the Grand River Conference in the MSHSAA softball state semifinals on Friday morning at the Killian Softball Complex in Springfield. As the weather shifted throughout the day from warm conditions at mid-day to chilly mist toward sunset, Gallatin finished fourth with a pair of defeats in Class 1, while South Harrison won third place, falling to eventual state champion Carrollton in the semifinals in Class 2.
Gallatin played in its first-ever semifinal in program history against the LaPlata Lady Bulldogs, in action heard on KGOZ FM 101.7. The game saw Gallatin starter AnnaBelle Ball and LaPlata starter Whitney Snow settle into a pitchers duel.
Gallatin claimed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, with Brynn Bird reaching on a base on balls, moving to second and third on passed balls, and scoring on a wild pitch. The lead stayed at 1-0 through the top of the 4th.
In the 4th inning, LaPlata rallied with a double by catcher Claire Coy followed by a bad-hop double off the edge of the outfield grass from Snow, evening the game at 1-1.
LaPlata’s biggest surge came in the top of the 6th inning, with Emmagin Travis earning a leadoff walk, followed by a stolen base and a Coy single to move her to third base. Snow and Kohyn Wood had back-to-back singles and Ashlynn Lewis earned a walk, pushing the lead to 4-1 before an out had been recorded. Bird replaced Ball during the rally, keeping the lead at 4-1.
In the bottom of the 6th, Gallatin rallied to within a run on one swing of the bat, as Ball was at the plate, with two outs and Ashley Feiden on first base. Tom Johnson was on the call on KGOZ:
The rally for Gallatin continued from there, as Channing McBroom singled, and was sent to third base on a base hit by Betty Rogers. A steal of second left two on and two out, but GHS failed to get the hit to tie the game.
LaPlata added 7th inning insurance, with Isabella Joyce singling and stealing second. She moved to third on a ground ball and scored on a Snow single.
With a one-out single by Bird in the bottom of the 7th, Gallatin twice got the tying run to the plate, but a pair of fly balls ended the Lady Bulldogs hopes of a state title, as LaPlata held on for the 5-3 triumph.
In the other Class 1 semifinal, Jamestown downed Marion C. Early 3-1.
In the Class 1 third place game, played in cold, blustery, and misty conditions, Gallatin fell to Marion C. Early 7-4. The Lady Panthers scored single runs in the first and second innings off of Bird to take a 2-0 lead. GHS cut the lead to 2-1 with Alex Endicott scoring in the 3rd inning on an RBI single by Feiden.
MCE extended the lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning, scoring three times, with Gallatin struggling defensively with a pair of errors in the frame. A two-run rally by the Lady Bulldogs got the deficit back to 5-3, but the Lady Panthers added two runs in the top of the 6th, answered by a single run by Gallatin in the bottom half for the final score of 7-4.
Marion C. Early finished the year at 24-12, with Gallatin at 21-5.
South Harrison, in the Class 2 semifinals, lost to the Carrollton Lady Trojans 3-1, dropping the Lady Bulldogs into the third place game with Linn. SHHS took the third place hardware in dominant fashion 8-2. Carrollton beat Chaffee for the Class 2 state title 4-3. The Lady Trojans finish 22-4, with South Harrison 26-7. Chaffee beat Linn in the other semifinal contest 4-1.
Here are the other results from Springfield on Friday:
Semifinal : St. Francis Borgia 7, Winfield 2
Semifinal ; Fatima 3, Oak Grove 2
Championship : Fatima 12, St. Francis Borgia 2
Championship : Washington 3, Helias Catholic 1
Championship : Francis Howell 8, Blue Springs South 0