SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: DeClue, Panthers keep mashing on way to 12-3 start

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Park Hill South designated player Erica Lutgen hits a pitch on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at Park Hill South High  School in Riverside, Mo. KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With Park Hill South already up big, third baseman Georgia Clark put a memorable touch on a win against the Panthers’ top rival Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Clark hit a walkoff two-run home run with one out in the bottom of the sixth at Park Hill South High School in a matchup delayed two days by weather. Clark’s only hit capped a 10-0 victory in Suburban Conference Red Division play.

Park Hill South totaled 15 hits against Park Hill pitchers Ali Ball and Peyton Morehouse, who each entered the game twice in the circle. The Panthers scored in five of six innings, including a four-run outburst in the bottom of the third.

The first four runners reached and scored with Kasey Sadler driving in Katie Kobayashi after she singled and stole two bases. Kylie DeClue followed with a two-run home run to center, and Erika Lutgen later scored on a fielder’s choice.

DeClue added an RBI double in the fourth to help put Park Hill South up 8-0.

Park Hill managed just three hits against Panthers’ No. 2 starter Carolyn Stock, who struck out four in six innings. The Trojans, who dropped to 3-13 with five losses last week, stranded three runners in scoring position.

Park Hill South/Winnetonka Invitational

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Park Hill South pitcher Carolyn Stock delivers a pitch against Park Hill on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo.

In a 16-team double-elimination bracket, Park Hill South finished second after a loss in a rematch of a Class 4 sectional from a year ago.

Liberty North won a second straight matchup with the Panthers after ending their season in the first round of the playoffs a year ago. The Eagles scored once in the bottom of the first and added two insurance runs in the sixth for a 3-0 win against Park Hill South ace Olivia Kinsey, a junior who struck out eight but allowed 10 hits.

Park Hill South managed only three hits in the loss.

In one of the tournament’s semifinals, Park Hill South scored four times in the bottom of the sixth to rally and beat Staley 5-3. Kinsey capped the big inning with a three-run home run to left field. The rally started with a Falcons’ error and continued with singles for DeClue and Lutgen ahead of Kinsey’s blast.

Staley took a 3-1 lead with two runs against Kinsey in the fifth.

Park Hill South shut out Fort Osage in their opener, 8-0, behind six innings of four-hit work from Stock and Gracie Dieleman. DeClue hit a pair of home runs and totaled three RBIs, while Kobayashi had an RBI triple in a six-run fourth for the Panthers.

Kinsey three-hit Oak Grove in a 10-0 win in the second round. Sadler, DeClue and Lutgen all scored twice, and the Panthers put up runs in four of five innings. DeClue hit a two-run home run to center field for both of the tallies in the fourth.

Park Hill South 3, St. Joseph Central 0

The Panthers remained unbeaten in Suburban Red play with Kinsey pitching a three-hit shutout Thursday, Sept. 10 in St. Joseph, Mo. DeClue hit a solo home run to put Park Hill South up 1-0 in the top of the fourth.

Four straight two-out singles from Taylor McCoy, Kobayashi, Sadler and DeClue produced the other two runs in the fifth.

Park Hill South 6, Liberty 0

The Panthers scored five times in the fifth to break a shutout Tuesday, Sept. 8 in Liberty, Mo.

Kinsey threw the shutout and capped the biggest inning with a two-run double to left-center field. Five straight Panthers reached base to do the damage, and they sent 10 to the plate in the inning.

Kinsey’s first 10 outs came via strikeout, and she struck out 16 total in the complete game, while scattering five hits and three walks. Liberty left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth and left five in scoring position total.

Lee’s Summit West 1, Park Hill South 0

The Titans plated an unearned run in the bottom of the third on a Park Hill South error Monday, Sept. 14 in Lee’s Summit, Mo. Kinsey struck out 12 and allowed only four hits.

Park Hill South recorded just one hit in the loss — DeClue’s single in the seventh inning. Despite the struggles, the Panthers stranded two runners in scoring position with Meghan Church reaching on an error in the sixth to break up the perfect game and Sadler walking ahead of DeClue’s single.

At 12-3, Park Hill South now takes a week off before playing at Truman on Monday, Sept. 21 in a Suburban Conference Red Division matchup. The Panthers are 4-0 so far in league play.

Park Hill 17, Ruskin 1; Park Hill 15, Ruskin 0

Ali Ball and Josie Heckman recorded victories in a sweep for the Trojans in a Suburban Conference Red Division doubleheader Monday, Sept. 14 in Kansas City, Mo.

Morehouse went 2-for-2 with five RBIs in the opener, while Addison Devers added a two-run double. In the nightcap, Hailey Robertson, Sarah Cocks, Gracen Santoyo and Chanel Rodriguez each had an RBI single.

Blue Springs 8, Platte County 4

The Pirates fell behind 5-0 but nearly rallied all the way back Wednesday, Sept. 9 in Blue Springs, Mo. Mallory Stoner hit an RBI single in the fourth and another during a three-run fifth. Blue Springs rallied back for three in the bottom of the inning, and Stoner ended up allowing eight runs, six earned, while walking none and striking out four.

Platte County 12, Winnetonka 2

The Pirates took advantage of six errors and poured on the runs late in a Suburban Conference Blue Division matchup Thursday, Sept. 10 in Kansas City, Mo.

Brittany Whitt hit a pair of doubles, and Ashley Hopper added another for Platte County, and the duo combined for five RBIs. Hopper drove in two with her double during a five-run seventh that also included RBI singles for Lauren Magee and Anna Townsend and an RBI groundout for Alexis Ray.

Platte County entered the seventh with a 7-0 lead after Whitt hit a three-RBI double in the top of the fifth. She scored one batter later on Lou Menninger’s single.

Winnetonka scored both of its runs in the bottom of the seventh off of Stoner, who struck out five and walked one.

Kearney 6, Platte County 1

Stoner surrendered five of six runs in the first two innings but ended up charged with only two earned runs in the loss Monday, Sept. 14 in Platte City. Ray, who went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk, scored the Pirates’ lone run in the loss in the bottom of the sixth.

Platte County dropped to 5-6 (3-1 Suburban Blue) with the loss ahead of a Tuesday, Sept. 15 home game against Belton. The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline. The Pirates close the week on Friday and Saturday in the Blue Springs Tournament.