For the third season in a row, an upset ended the Republic softball season. This year, it was 3rd-seeded Neosho that knocked off the favored Lady Tigers (#2), 11-1 in the district semifinals.
A six-run fourth inning, enabled by three Republic errors, helped propel Neosho to the win. But even without the big inning, the Wildcats had plenty of runs for pitcher Kyla Daspit. Daspit pitched seven innings, allowing just one run on a solo homer by Ally Stolte. The Lady Tigers scratched out only seven hits.
Republic’s offense, which has been so good all year, failed to materialize Friday night. The Lady Tigers were shut out through five innings, and didn’t get on the board until Stolte’s homer in the sixth. Besides Stolte, only five runners reached second base all night.
Livi Collier started for Republic and took the loss. She allowed 11 runs — only five of them earned — on 12 hits and two walks, in seven innings. She struck out four.
In the past two years, Republic entered districts as the #1 seed at Joplin, only to be upset in the district championship game. But after graduating several key seniors off that squad, Republic continued to win this year. The Lady Tigers were the #2 seed behind Webb City entering the tournament, thanks to the 18 wins they racked up during the regular season. Republic finishes its year with an 18-9 record.
The loss was the final game for seniors Stolte, Karleigh Summers, Mikayla Steinert, and Grace Trantham.