SMITHVILLE — The Smithville softball team’s hopes of returning to state were dashed in the district finals for a third straight season.
After rattling off multiple six-plus game win streaks during its 19-11 season, which included a share of the Suburban Blue conference crown after giving Platte County its only regular-season loss, the Warriors’ season came to an end Friday, Oct. 16, with a 4-2 loss to the Pirates.
Smithville’s rubber match with Platte County was largely defined by a pitching duel between Warriors senior Makaela Carr and Pirates senior Emma Koeneke.
Both pitchers went three up and three down in their first inning on mound before Carr broke the stalemate with her first trip up to the plate in the second inning. The southpaw hit a line-drive double that rolled deep into the left field, allowing Raelyn Tanner and Adi Callahan to cross home plate for a 2-0 lead.
The Pirates got their first run in the second inning after multiple fielding errors by the Warriors. Carr turned it around to leave a base runner stranded on second base. She was not as lucky in the third when Lawson hit a 3-run homer to take the 4-2 lead.
That would be enough for the Pirates as only a few batters from either team earned walks to get on base and no players earned a hit.
Carr finished with eight strikeouts and allowed four hits and four runs over six innings. Kroeneke earned the win as she picked up 13 strikeouts and allowed two runs on just one hits over seven innings.
It was the last game for a slew of Smithville seniors which includes: Carr, Callahan, Aidan Robinson, Teagan Klamm, Karli West, Caroline Justice and Veronica McNeece.
Smithville had advanced to the state tournament in three straight seasons from 2015 to 2017 — taking fourth in 2016 and third in 2017 — before the Warriors recent streak of their season-ending losses in the district championship game. Smithville lost in the district finals against Savannah each of the last two seasons.