West Platte softball loses district semi in extra innings

West Platte staged a memorable rally but couldn’t come up with the last run needed to extend the season.

In a Class 1 District 14 semifinal pushed all the way back to Saturday, Oct. 7 and moved to Maysville, Mo., DeKalb scored the winning run in the top of the 11th and held on for a 5-4 victory. West Platte led 1-0 early but needed two runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings in the matchup of the No. 2 and 3 seeds.

West Platte won the regular season matchup to earn the first round bye.

Down 4-2, West Platte started the seventh with a walk for Alyssa Knox and a single for Sikoya Richard, and both were in scoring position with no outs. After a strikeout and a lineout, the Bluejays needed sophomore Karah Dunham’s two-out double to left field to tie the score.

However, Dunham ended up stranded at third on a flyout to center field.

Dunham worked around a one-out walk in the eighth and a two-out double in the 10th before two singles and a two-out error led to DeKalb’s go-ahead run in the 11th. West Platte only had one runner in the first three extra innings but put two on in the bottom of the 11th.

Melanie Waters led off with a single, but after two fielder’s choices, Richard singled with two outs to put Knox at second with the potential tying run. Kaitlin Larison, a senior, popped out to end the game.

West Platte finished at 8-14 with six seniors on the roster — Knox, Richard, Larison, Rachel Heili, Sydney Sweeden and Makayla Wardlow. The Bluejays were winless two years ago and won just two games in 2016 before a rejuvenate season.

The eight wins were the most for West Platte since reaching a Class 2 district title game in 2014.

West Platte reached the district semifinal for a second straight year and took a 1-0 lead in the rematch with DeKalb on a pair of errors sandwiched around Dunham’s single in the bottom of the first. Dunham, who allowed just three earned runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out eight, gave up three runs on a walk and three hits to consecutive batters in the third.

Sweeden’s two-out double in the bottom of the third brought West Platte back within 3-2, but an error contributed to DeKalb’s fourth run in the fifth.

Waters went 3-for-5, while Dunham had two hits, a walk and two RBIs for West Platte, which totaled 11 hits but stranded 10. The Bluejays struck out just twice.