Platte County softball comes back to earn share of Blue Division title

Platte County allowed just nine runs in five games but ended up sixth after a strong showing over the weekend in the Carthage Tournament held in Carthage, Mo.

A second round loss to Webb City on Friday, Sept. 29 sent Platte County to the consolation bracket, and the Pirates won their first two on Saturday, Sept. 30 to reach the consolation final. They were shut out for the second time in the tournament in the final game, losing 3-0 to Jefferson City.

 NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo Platte County sophomore Paige Rocha (left), junior Shayla Kohler (center) and freshman Maddie Carter greet each other during pregame introductions against Liberty North on Thursday, Sept. 28 at Platte County High School.

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo
Platte County sophomore Paige Rocha (left), junior Shayla Kohler (center) and freshman Maddie Carter greet each other during pregame introductions against Liberty North on Thursday, Sept. 28 at Platte County High School.

Emma Koeneke was dominant in the three wins for Platte County, allowing just three runs total and recording a consolation bracket shutout of East Newton. The freshman allowed two in the top of the first of the opener with Carl Junction and just one in a 3-1 consolation semifinal win over Monett.

After falling behind 2-0, Platte County answered with four in the first and five in the second on the way a to a 10-2, five-inning win over Carl Junction. The Pirates had 17 hits total, starting with a leadoff single for sophomore Paige Rocha and a two-run home run for junior Janessa Barmann in the first two at-bats of the bottom of the first.

Halle Magee added an RBI triple and scored on freshman Maddie Carter’s sacrifice fly to give Platte County a 4-2 lead. The Pirates increased it to 9-2 with a single for junior Stephanie Carroll and back-to-back doubles for Rocha and Barmann in the first three at-bats of the second.

Koeneke capped the inning with a two-out, two-run single to left field.

In the second game, Webb City scored in the bottom of the fifth to break a scoreless tie and held on for a 3-0 win. The Cardinals had eight hits against Koeneke and broke through with a two-out double in the fifth before adding a two-run home run in the sixth.

Platte County came back Saturday morning with Koeneke’s best performance of the tournament. She struck out 12 and allowed just three hits in the Pirates’ 8-0 win over East Newton.

 NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo Platte County freshman pitcher Emma Koeneke (22) watches a ball hit toward left field against Liberty North.

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo
Platte County freshman pitcher Emma Koeneke (22) watches a ball hit toward left field against Liberty North.

Platte County scored in five of six innings, including four in the bottom of the first to take control.

Taylor Farr, a junior outfielder, hit a one-out triple to score Rocha after she was hit a by a pitch to start the inning. Pirates junior first baseman Shayla Kohler then hit a sacrifice fly before Magee and Carter hit consecutive singles.

Koeneke drove in both with a two-out double.

Rocha finished 2-for-3 with a double and three runs scored, while Farr drove in three on three hits. Kohler added two RBIs.

Platte County’s offense managed less in a second win of the season against Monett, but Koeneke’s RBI single in the second took advantage of a Cubs’ error to make it 1-0. The Pirates added two more in the fifth with a walk for Magee, double for Barmann and two-run single for Farr.

Koeneke scattered five hits and struck out four in seven innings to earn her third win of the tournament.

In the consolation final, Platte County managed six hits — all singles — but stranded seven in the shutout loss to Jefferson City. Koeneke only struck out one but allowed just six hits and one walk.

Platte County left two in scoring position in the second and one at second in the third, fourth and fifth. The Pirates also had a runner thrown out at home in the sixth.

Platte County 13, Belton 1, 5 innings

In need of a win, Platte County came up with two big innings Monday, Oct. 2 and secured a share of the Suburban Conference Blue Division title in Belton, Mo.

Belton scored its lone run in the bottom of the first against Koeneke, who struck out eight and allowed just one hit in the final four innings, but the 1-0 lead held until the top of the third. Rocha singled for the first of five straight hits for Platte County in that inning — a stretch that included RBI doubles for Barmann, Farr and sophomore Gracie Erickson to make it 4-1.

In the fourth, Rocha added a two-run home run to start a seven-run inning. Kohler (single), Koeneke (two-run double) and Magee (two-run single) also had RBIs in the inning for Platte County.

With the win, Platte County improved to 18-6 on the season and 9-1 in Blue Division play. The Pirates split the league crown with Kearney.

Platte County earned the No. 2 seed in the Class 3 District 15 tournament and will be scheduled to play at home in a semifinal Thursday, Oct. 5 — weather permitting — against either Richmond (15-8) or Notre Dame de Sion (3-16). Forecasted rain could cause time, date and/or location changes as needed.

Kearney 6, Platte County 4

The Pirates were forced to share the Blue Division title after a loss Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Platte County High School.

Kearney scored three in the top of the fourth to take the lead for good and added an insurance run in the seventh. Platte County finished with 10 hits but did not have a runner in the bottom of the seventh while looking to tie the score.

In the bottom of the sixth, Platte County trailed 5-3 when Barmann led off with a single, and Koeneke reached on an error. Maddie Carter’s bunt single loaded the bases, bringing Rocha to the plate.

Rocha grounded out to score a run and make it 5-4 — the first of three straight groundouts to end the inning. Koeneke was thrown out at home trying to score the tying run on Stephanie Carroll’s ground ball back to the pitcher with one out.

Platte County trailed 2-0 after the top of the first but came back with a single for Rocha and a double for Farr. Kohler then scored a run with an infield single.

Kearney surrendered the lead in the bottom of the second when Farr doubled with two outs to score Koeneke and Rocha, who both walked. Barmann led off the inning with a double but was thrown out at home on Carroll’s bases-loaded grounder to third with one out.

Liberty North 9, Platte County 2

The Pirates dropped a second straight, unable to match Liberty North’s offensive pace Thursday, Sept. 28 at Platte County High School.

Liberty North scored in each of the first six innings, but Platte County matched runs in the first two. The Eagles went ahead 1-0 after the top of the first and 2-1 after the top of the second, only to give the runs back in the bottom of the frames.

Rocha singled and scored on Farr’s single in the first for Platte County, and the Pirates added a run in the second on Rocha’s two-out RBI single. They had eight hits total — all singles — but stranded nine.