South softball splits 4 in tournament coming off of Staley win

Coming off an important win, Park Hill South went 2-2 in the Northland Tournament it co-hosted over the weekend.

The Panthers opened Friday, Sept. 8 with a dominant 8-2 win over Oak Park. Kate Kobayashi, who went 2-for-4, started the bottom of the first inning with a single, and the first three batters reached. They ended up with a 3-0 lead on RBI singles for Chantice Phillips and Taylor Johnson plus a run-scoring error.

Phillips and Meggen Keller hit back-to-back doubles to start the third, and Park Hill South’s lead increased to 8-2 with four runs in the fourth inning. Kobayashi had an RBI double and scored on Phillips’ groundout in the frame.

Park Hill South again led early against Webb City on Friday night.

Phillips hit a first-inning double to score Kobayashi, who led off with a single, and Keller drove in Phillips with a double for a 2-0 lead. The Panthers went ahead 5-0 when Kobayashi hit a three-run home run in the second.

Park Hill South only had one more hit the rest of the way, and Webb City scored three in the fifth and five in the sixth to complete a big comeback.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, Park Hill South opened with another 8-2 win — this one against Smithville.

Gracie Dieleman started and gave up two runs in the bottom of the first but didn’t allow any more. Park Hill South responded with big innings in the sixth and seventh to overcome the 2-0 deficit.

Phillips had a two-run double in a four-run-sixth, and Kristen Clevenger capped the rally with a two-out single. Kobayashi, Jessie Hagen, Phillips and Keller all scored two runs apiece, and Johnson drove in two in the four-run seventh with a single.

Six straight batters reached with one out in the inning.

Park Hill South never led in a 3-2 loss to Warrensburg to close out the weekend. Hagen hit a one-out solo home run in the first inning to answer a solo home run given up in the first.

Hagen, who also pitched and allow only one earned run in seven innings, added a second solo home run in the bottom of the seventh with two outs to make it 3-2, but Phillips lined out to the pitcher to end the game six pitches later.


Park Hill South 12, Staley 8

The Panthers struck early and took down the two-time defending Class 4 District 16 champions in a nonconference game Wednesday, Sept. 6.

Staley won the first matchup between the two teams during the Joplin Tournament but fell behind 5-0 in the first inning of the rematch at Staley High School in Kansas City, Mo. The first five Park Hill South batters reached, including three straight walks after Kobayashi led off with a single. Meggen Keller had a bases-loaded walk, and Sam Ahrendt and Emma Beuerlein added two-run singles.

Park Hill South batted 10 in the inning and led 6-4 after two. The Panthers added a second five-run inning in the fifth with a two-run single for Kobayashi and RBI double for Hagen capping the rally to make it 11-4.

Staley scored in each of the final three innings, but Dieleman, who came on in relief early in the second, held on to earn the win. She allowed nine hits and one walk but allowed only four runs total.

Park Hill South 12, Liberty North 5

Keller’s two-run home run in the fifth broke a 3-3 tie and propelled the Panthers to a Suburban Conference Red Division win Monday, Sept. 11 in Liberty, Mo.

Hagen led off the fifth with a double and scored on Keller’s home run two batters later. An error helped lead to a third run, and Park Hill South went ahead 6-3 after allowing three runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Keller added an RBI single in Park Hill South’s five-run sixth and an RBI double for the lone run in the seventh. Kobayashi reached base three times for the Panthers and scored three runs.

Park Hill South improved to 9-5 overall and 3-1 in Red Division play, pending the result of a Tuesday, Sept. 12 matchup scheduled with Raytown.

Park Hill South 5, Truman 4

The Panthers scored five unearned runs and survived a furious rally to earn a Red Division win Tuesday, Sept. 5 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo.

In the bottom of the fifth, Park Hill South batted around and took advantage of a pair of errors to score four runs and expand the lead to 5-0. Hagen and Johnson both had two-run singles in the frame.

Truman scored four in the top of the sixth, but Dieleman recovered to throw a complete game, striking out five while allowing seven hits. All four runs for the Patriots came with two outs, and Dieleman retired the final four batters in order.