CENTERVILLE — Despite jumping ahead early with a three-run first inning, the Prairie City-Monroe softball team couldn’t continue their momentum and fell 10-4 to Centerville in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A Region 3 tournament on Wednesday.
The Redettes went ahead early, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first and three more in the second to make it 8-3 after two innings. The Mustangs were only able to plate one more run before their season came to a close.
“We knew they had some really good hitters,” PCM head coach Shaun Hudnut said. “We knew we had to do some things that just didn’t come through especially in those first two innings.”
The Mustangs looked strong offensively in the first inning, scoring three runs. Camryn Wignall was hit by pitch to open up the inning. Paige Steenhoek followed with a double to right field. Anna Shaver hit an RBI single and Steenhoek was scored on a wild pitch.
Sidney Shaver followed it up with a bunt that brought in a runner and the Mustangs led 3-0 after the top half of one inning.
Centerville answered back with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Paige Steenhoek started in the circle for the Mustangs and the Redettes were able to get ahead of her.
Steenhoek walked two batters and Taylor Shinn drove in one of those runners when her hit to second base was bobbled. Alyssa McElvain followed that with a hit to left field that scored two more runners.
Elizabeth Zintz scored one on a fielder’s choice and Riley Hawk hit an RBI single before the inning came to a close. The Redettes led 5-3 after one inning.
In the bottom of the second inning, Claire Mathews hit an RBI double to left field. A missed throw from the shortstop to first base on McElvain’s hit brought in Mathews. Lanie Moorman hit an RBI single and Centerville led 8-3 after two innings.
McElvain also was the starting pitcher for Centerville. The Mustangs got one more run on her in the third inning when Sidney Shaver hit an RBI single.
PCM brought in Riley DeVore to pitch in the third inning and DeVore kept Centerville scoreless in each of the next three innings.
“Things just didn’t go quite how we wanted to in those first two,” Hudnut said. “We made the change to go to Riley she did a great job of controlling them pretty much for the rest of the game and keeping us in a spot where we were in striking distance.”
The Redettes tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning when McElvain and Mathews each hit run-scoring singles.
Anna Shaver led the way offensively for the Mustangs. She went 4-for-4 at the plate with an RBI.
The Mustangs (9-19) had to play with many young players all season long. The softball program had to bring up the entire eighth grade class to play varsity softball. Hudnut was proud of his team’s grit this season.
“We talked to our seniors when we knew this was going to happen,” Hudnut said. “Our goal was to get more competitive pitch by pitch, inning by inning and then hopefully game by game. We told them they’d have to be strong leaders for that to happen and I think we had everything happen on all parts of that.”
The Mustangs started six eighth-graders and one freshman against Centerville. There’s some buzz around the potential future for the softball program.
“We’ve got a great core of girls that are coming back next year,” Hudnut said. “As they get older, they’re going to get stronger and faster. They’re going to get more polished as ball players. Definitely the future is bright.”