Platte County softball up and down in GKC Tournament

Platte County ended up fourth in the silver bracket of the Greater Kansas City Tournament last week, losing its final two games of bracket play at Adair Park in Kansas City, Mo. In a 24-team field, the Pirates went 1-1 in pool play to end up in the middle of three eight-team brackets. They won their opener vs. Pleasant Hill and then dropped back-to-back games to Liberty — the eventual silver bracket champion — and Oak Grove.

On Tuesday, Aug. 25, Mekenzie Wright keyed a four-run first inning for Platte County (2-3) with a two-run single in a 6-3 win against Pleasant Hill in a rematch of a 2014 Class 3 state quarterfinal matchup. The Pirates won that postseason game 6-5 on the way to a second-place finish last season in the Missouri State Softball Championships.

Tori Farr also drove in a run with a single during the opening frame against the Chicks and ended up with three RBIs. Linley Weiken, the Pirates’ No. 2 starter, earned the win with a complete game, walking none and striking out none.

Pleasant Hill scored twice in the bottom of the sixth after trailing 6-1.

Later in the day, Liberty forced Platte County into the third-place game with a shutout. The Pirates didn’t score despite collecting seven hits. Brittany Whitt went 3-for-3 in the 6-0 loss, but all seven hits for Platte County were singles.

Liberty collected nine singles and six runs — five in the second inning — against Mallory Stoner, who didn’t allow an earned run.

Oak Grove won the silver bracket third-place game 4-1, doing all of the damage against Stoner in the second inning. Platte County jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Whitt’s RBI single. The Pirates and Panthers collected six hits apiece, but Oak Grove drew three walks and hit two doubles off of Stoner to earn the win.

Platte County was set to open Suburban Conference Blue Division play on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at Raytown South, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

Park Hill finished up the GKC Tournament 0-5 but continued to receive big contributions from freshman Peyton Morehouse, who went 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs in an 8-5 loss to Raytown South in the bronze bracket seventh-place game. Kirsten Waldon went 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored.

Joplin Tournament

Park Hill South went unbeaten in pool play and reached the championship game of the gold bracket Saturday, Aug. 29 in Joplin, Mo. The Panthers ended up second after a 13-2 loss to Blue Springs, a team they beat during the three-team round robin in pool play.

Behind a pair of three-run home runs from pitcher Olivia Kinsey, Park Hill South won the first matchup with Blue Springs 11-3 to take the top spot in their pool. The second came in a seven-run fifth inning that featured a costly error with one out.

Park Hill South also scored six unanswered to beat Webb City 6-5 and plated six in the first inning, including another three-run home run for Kinsey, in a 10-1 win vs. Carthage to round out pool play. Kinsey hit a home run in the second inning of a bracket semifinal with Joplin on Saturday, and Kylie DeClue added a three-run home run in the next inning. The Panthers went on to win 7-3 to end up with a rematch against Blue Springs.

In the championship, Blue Springs scored all 13 runs off of No. 2 pitcher Carolyn Stock, who threw all five innings.

Park Hill South 2, Blue Springs 1

The Panthers rallied with two runs in the sixth, collecting three of their five total hits in succession that inning, to score a comeback win Wednesday, Aug. 26 in Blue Springs, Mo.

With two outs, Kasey Sadler jumpstarted the offense with a single, and DeClue, Park Hill South’s all-state outfielder, followed with a game-tying RBI double to right field. She scored the go-ahead run on the next pitch when catcher Erika Lutgen singled up the middle to cap her 3-for-3 day, which included a double.

Blue Springs put a runner on base in every inning except the second, collecting eight hits against Kinsey. The Wildcats scored their lone run after opening with back-to-back singles in the top of the first. From there, Kinsey allowed a run on a sacrifice fly but went on to strike out 11 and strand eight Blue Springs runners — five in scoring position.