Wildcats bow out in regional semifinal

Marmaton Valley's softball season ended with an 11-6 loss Friday to Central Heights in their 2-1A Regional Semifinal. Marmaton Valley ends with a 15-7 record.



May 22, 2021 - 2:58 PM

Brooklyn Adams fields a ground ball Friday in Marmaton Valley HIgh's Class 2-1A Regional Semifinal against Central Heights. The Wildcats fell, 11-6. Photo by Halie Luken

PAOLA — Try as they could, Marmaton Valley High’s softball team could not keep up with Central Heights Friday.

Marmaton Valley High’s Tayven Sutton fields a fly ball against Central Heights Friday.Photo by Halie Luken

The Wildcats fell behind early, 4-0, and later 9-3, before cutting the gap to three in the bottom of the fifth.

But that was as close as MV could get as Central Heights tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh to win, 11-6.

The loss ends Marmaton Valley’s season in the Class 2-1A Substate Semifinals with a 15-7 record.

Things were quiet until Central Heights erupted for four runs in the top of the third.
Marmaton Valley, meanwhile, came up dry with a pair of early scoring opportunities. Aly Ard was thrown out trying to make it home following a two-base throwing error by the Vikings in the first. The play proved costly after a walk and a single by MV’s Tayven Sutton followed.

Then, the Wildcats loaded the bases with one out in the second, but couldn’t get a run across.

Kayla Ard retired the first two Viking batters in the third, but a pair of singles and a triple led to a 2-0 lead before Central Heights right fielder Elise Platt smacked a two-run single to double the lead.

Marmaton Valley High’s Aly Ard throws to first base against Central Heights Friday.Photo by Halie Luken

Kayla Ard and Sutton walked to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Ard came around to score on a wild pitch, but Sutton was caught trying to steal third for the first out of the frame. Payton Scharff then walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a ground ball, and back home to score on another wild pitch to pare the deficit to 4-2.

But momentum swung back to Central Heights in the fourth, after the first two batters were retired. A single and double drove in one run. A Wildcat fielding error allowed another to score, making it 6-2.

Marmaton Valley again responded quickly, but missed out on a chance for more.

Brooklyn Adams singled to lead off the frame, but was called out for offensive interference on the next play. Gracie Yoho followed with a walk, and Roslyn Houk moved her to third with a double, and Aly Ard drew a walk to load the bases. Kayla Ard’s ground ball allowed Yoho to score, but a strikeout ended the rally with the bases loaded.

And, like they did before, the Vikings pieced together a two-out rally to pull further ahead in the fifth. Cameron Peel had the big blow, a two-run double as Central Heights forged a 9-3 advantage.

Back came the Wildcats.

Payton Scharff and Kendall Scharff opened the bottom half of the fifth with walks, and then moved up a base on a wild pitch. Adams drove in a run on a ground ball, Yoho’s double sent Kendall Scharff across the plate, and Houk ripped a grounder back up the middle for a hit to make it 9-6.

Kendall Scharff fields a ground ball for Marmaton Valley High Friday against Central Heights.Photo by Halie Luken

But a popup ended the rally with two runners on base, part of a frustrating trend. The Wildcats had 15 baserunners, but only six hits. Marmaton Valley left eight runners on base, seven of whom were in scoring position when the third out was recorded.

The Vikings tacked on two more runs in the seventh, on a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded, and a Wildcat passed ball.

Houk paced the Wildcat scoring attack with a double and two singles in four at bats. Sutton, Payton Scharff and Adams all had singles.