Class 3 Sectional: Sullivan Edges Osage 2-1, Travel To Monett
Behind solo home runs by Hannah Cox and Kamryn Lohden and nine strikeouts from Addison Purvis, Sullivan edged Osage 2-1 Wednesday and advanced to the Class 3 quarterfinal against Monett on Saturday.
The Lady Eagles (27-2) will travel as they attempt to reach for the Final Four for the second straight year and fifth time in program history.
Sullivan head coach Ashley Crump complimented first-time district champion Osage, but said her team needs to "level up."
"They were a good team, they played great defense...they did a great job putting their outfielders at the fence and it worked, but we can't be making errors. We can't be running into outs," she said.
Sullivan's power hitting ability was never more handy.
"We had to have it tonight," said Crump about the homers, which were Sullivan's 30th and 31st of the season.
Cox's first inning blast off Osage starter Skyler Smith gave the Lady Eagles a lead. Lohden's second homer of the season with one out in the second put Sullivan up 2-0. "(Lohden) needed that," Crump said. "That was good for her."
Sullivan shifted the lineup around from the district tournament. Kloey Blanton was restored to the leadoff spot after Crump gave Emma Weirich a run at the top. Abbey Daniel was elevated to fifth and delivered a pair of singles.
"I was happy with the order," Crump said. "I think it was better than how we had it on Friday. I think it worked to our favor, even it doesn't show."
The Lady Eagles had several long, loud fly balls that were caught at the fence thanks to Osage's outfield positioning.
In the third inning, Purvis and Cox both hit fly balls that could have gone for extra bases. Smith pitched around a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. She gave up a pair of one-out singles to Abbey Daniel and Lohden, then walked Morgan Bobbitt. The inning ended with a 6-2 fielder's choice by Madison Decker and a strikeout of Weirich.
Up 2-1, Sullivan threatened again in the sixth when Daniel led off with a single. Kylee Thomure was sent in to courtesy run. She wound up on third and tried to score on a squeeze by Bobbitt, but was tagged out at the plate.
Osage had cut the lead in half in the top half of the sixth. Arianna Neal reached on an error and went to second. Gracie Faulkner hit a fly ball to center that advanced Neal to third and Payton Good's sacrifice fly to center scored Osage's only run.
Purvis had stranded four runners prior to the sixth. In the second inning, Good went to first on a missed pop up at home plate. Kerrigan Gamm bunted the ball in the air, past Weirich who was charging in from third. Gamm beat out Purvis' throw to first. Purvis struck out Paige Luttrell, but on strike three, Good and Gamm pulled off a double steal. With the go-ahead runs in scoring position, Purvis struck out Aly Baker and got Liberty Gamm on a flyout to left.
Osage put a runner on with one out in the third, but Purvis struck out the next two batters. Good led off the fourth with a single, but groundouts from Kerrigan Gamm and Luttrell and a strikeout of Baker ended another threat.