PRATT – Ellinwood’s Brittney Beck delivered the most important home run in Eagle softball history.
Beck drilled the game-winning sixth-inning homer to beat Moundridge 1-0 in the Class 2-1A state softball tournament one week after she hit a grand slam. That decisive pitch tagged Wildcat pitcher Jadah Moore with the loss.
“That was huge late in the game,” said Ellinwood coach Jason Duvall. “It was going to be a one-run game.”
Ellinwood pitcher Allison Panning was solid in a 12-strikeout, two-hit performance. She retired Jasmine Walls for the game-ending popout to second baseman Lauren Petz after Keira Sebrant singled and Zizi Sebrant reached on an error.
“Allison pitched well and hit her spots,” Duvall said. “They started to swing more aggressively at the end of the game.”
Ellinwood featured baserunners in all six innings, but stranded three baserunners in scoring position. Ellinwood finished as state runner-up, losing to Valley Falls in the state championship game.
Moundridge’s Zaelyn Foth doubled in the first inning with two out, but Panning struck out Moore. Catcher Brittney Beck keyed the defense by throwing out Zizi Sebrant on an attempted steal of third base in the second inning.
Ellinwood (17-6) qualifies for Friday’s 11 a.m. semifinal against upset-minded Pittsburg Colgan (5-19), which stunned No. 1 seed Sedan 11-6. The Panthers started post-season with a 1-19 record.
“I’m a little surprised, but Colgan hit the ball in the bottom of their lineup,” Duvall said. “Colgan is a capable team. We’ll have to adjust our hitting against their style of pitching.”
EAGLES 1, WILDCATS 0
MHS 000 000 0 – 0 2 1
EHS 000 001 x – 1 4 1
Moore and Kiera Siebrant. Allison Panning and Beck. W—A. Panning. L—Moore, 7-5. 2B—M—Foth. HR—E—Beck.