MURRAY — The host Lady Mustangs came up one run short of reaching the finals of the Murray Softball Tournament for the first time since 2006.
Lamoni scored with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge Murray, 7-6, in the semifinals Saturday afternoon. Third-ranked Martensdale-St. Marys (11-0) followed with a 4-2 win over Melcher-Dallas and took the championship by rolling past Lamoni, 15-4.
Murray was unable to bounce back from the semifinal disappointment, committing five errors in an 11-4 loss to Melcher-Dallas.
“We had our chances to beat Lamoni,” said Murray coach Danny Jensen. “A big two-run homer by Deena Snyder put us up one in the fourth inning. They went back ahead and we tied it in the sixth.
“Heading into the seventh, we didn’t score, and we got the first two outs on them before Mikaela Millslagle reached on a walk. She stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch when we had two strikes on the batter. That was a tough loss and it was difficult to get motivated for the third-place game.”
Martensdale-St. Marys used its speed, defensively and offensively in a bunt-and-run attack, to take the title in Murray’s 30th annual tournament.
“They don’t have what you could call great pitching, but she puts it where she wants to and their defense is so fast, they run down everything and cover the holes,” Jensen said. “They are worthy of their ranking. Melcher played them pretty tough in the semis.”
Nodaway Valley broke a 4-4 tie by scoring with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to edge Orient-Macksburg, 5-4, for fifth place. Lenox took seventh over Adair-Casey, 8-1.
In the semifinal game, Murray pitcher Kate Patton had two hits and three stolen bases. Snyder, a freshman, finished with a double and the homer. Eighth-grader Maddie Gonseth had two hits. Murray had 11 hits and stranded 11 runners.
Murray scored five runs in the second inning to take control of its opening matchup with Adair-Casey Friday night. Patton was 2-for-3 with three RBIs on a double and triple. Freshman Hannah Barber had two hits and scored two runs. Megan Oswald had two hits and Ashley Rider drove in two runs. Patton had 11 strikeouts while allowing six hits with five walks.
While the defense let down for Murray (2-5) in the third-place game, Patton had six strikeouts and two walks while giving up eight hits. Haley Hodges was 2-for-2 and Patton hit a double.
First round — Martensdale-St. Marys 12, Orient-Macksburg 1; Melcher-Dallas 7, Lenox 2; Lamoni 8, Nodaway Valley 6; Murray 8, Adair-Casey 5.
Consolation — O-M def. Lenox; NV def. A-C.
Seventh place — Lenox 8, Adair-Casey 1.
Fifth place — Nodaway Valley 5, Orient-Macksburg 4.
Semifinals — Martensdale-St. Marys 4, Melcher-Dallas 2; Lamoni 7, Murray 6.
Third place — Melcher-Dallas 11, Murray 4.
Championship — Martensdale-St. Marys 15, Lamoni 4.