SPRINGFIELD, MO. — Maysville’s Ashton Willis broke Salisbury’s collective heart last fall. The Panthers, at long last, got their revenge Friday.
Salisbury topped Maysville 9-3 in the Class 1 State Softball Semifinals at Killian Sports Complex in Springfield. One year after Willis had the game-winning hit against Salisbury in the Class 1 State Championships, she recorded the final out on a hard-hit ground ball to short.
“We were thinking about that when we walked into the stadium today,” Salisbury coach Nate King said. “We faced the same kid in the last at-bat of the game two years in a row. It’s kind of fitting. The outcome was a little different today.”
Maysville scored three runs in last year’s state title game — another eerie similarity — and had more hits off the same Salisbury pitcher. But it wasn’t nearly enough offense.
“There were a lot of things that just didn’t fall our way,” Maysville coach Brooke Ebersold said. “We played a really good team and they had the luck their way. Their hits were falling in the holes and ours weren’t. I was still pleased with the way our girls played, it just didn’t go our way.”
Maysville was in position to end Salisbury’s title hopes once again after a three-run rally in the bottom of the third inning. Willis was involved in that rally, too, reaching on a fielder’s choice and driving home Rylie Boyer to pull the Wolverines to within 2-1. Madeline Smith blasted a two-run double to center two batters later to give Maysville it’s first lead of the game.
Unfortunately, it was the Wolverines’ only lead. Salsibury’s bats warmed up in the top of the fifth inning, as the Panthers scored five runs on five hits.
Maysville had just two base hits the rest of the afternoon, a single by Willis and a double by Sadie Smith. They were both stranded at second base as the Wolverines fell into the Class 1 third-place game.
Sadie Smith took the loss for Maysville, allowing nine runs on 16 hits in six innings of work. She struck out three and walked three. She also had a single and a double. Willis (1-for-4) and Madeline Smith (1-for-3) drove in all the Wolverines’ runs.
“I’m very proud of these girls and this team,” Ebersold said. “I can’t even put it into words. The way they let the pressure roll of their backs and worked hard to get to this point has made it another fun and exciting season. I’m proud of every single one of them.”
Maysville 10, Stoutland 3
Maysville settled for third place with a dominating victory over Stoutland.
The Panthers scored three runs in the first and added seven runs between the fifth and sixth innings.
Madeline Smith finished with three runs and three RBIs in the win.