Despite a valiant effort on Wednesday evening, Mississinewa was unable to solve Macy Montgomery and the Bellmont Squaws, as the Indians’ season came to an end with a 5-2 loss in the Sectional 23 semi-final.
The Indians, who won 16 games due in large part to their high-powered offense, could not do much of anything against Montgomery, recording just six hits – five of which were singles.
Montgomery was locked in from the start, showing pristine control in a complete-game win, striking out 12. And while the Indians were able to put runners on, Montgomery was always able get out of any jam she found herself in.
“Our kids – they didn’t really struggle against her – they were up there battling the whole time,” Mississinewa Head Coach Steve Miller said. “We had a few strikeouts early in the game, but we had not seen that pitching all year. From the third inning on, we started putting the bat on the ball.”
While Montgomery was solid on the mound, she was equally as effective at the plate. She began the bottom of the first inning with a triple, and finished with hits in all four of her at-bats.
Bellmont’s No. 1 and 2 hitters – Montgomery and Paige Busick – combined for five hits, two runs scored, and two RBI.
“I knew their first two in the lineup – you didn’t want them getting on because they make things happen with their feet,” Miller said. “You can’t teach the speed, and they had it.”
Bellmont opened the scoring in the first inning, taking a lead they would not relinquish. After Montgomery tripled, Busick reached on a single, putting two runners on with nobody out. Both players scored on a pair of Mississinewa errors, giving the Squaws a 2-0 lead.
Montgomery continued to help her cause in the second, scoring Rylie Velez on an RBI double to make it 3-0.
The Indians had their chances, particularly in the third, fourth, and fifth innings, but they were unable to find that key hit. Kylie Smalley hit a two-out single in the third, but was stranded there. Amaya David and Katie Hosier were left on first and second in the fourth. And after Madison Dotterweich started the fifth inning with an error, the Squaws recorded three straight outs.
With the Indians struggling to score runs, Bellmont continued to add to their lead. Tori Miller hit an RBI single in the fourth, and Velez added a sacrifice fly in the fifth, increasing the Squaws’ lead to 5-0.
Madison Stanley broke up the shutout bid in the sixth with an RBI single, and the Indians looked to put together another seventh inning rally. But after scoring a run on an error, the Squaws notched the final two outs in rapid succession, securing the victory.
“I’m proud of the kids,” Miller said. “They took a good team right down to the line. They just never quit. I couldn’t ask any more out of them.”
In her final game of the season of a remarkable junior season, Berryhill gave it her all on the mound, striking out six in a complete-game effort.
“I thought Jenna pitched well,” Miller said. “She took a lot of kids [deep] in the count. I was real proud of her. She did well.”
While their season is now over, the Indians put together another excellent campaign, finishing 16-5 and winning a Grant Four championship
And while they lose a few key seniors, including David, Dotterweich, and Stanley, with all of the talent they will have returning, it’s safe to say that this team has a bright future.
“We’ve got some kids that I think will plug right in,” Miller said. “We’ll have good pitching coming back. We’ll have good hitting coming back. I’m excited. I really am.”