Palmyra Wins Third Straight Softball Title
By David Sharp
Palmyra (26-2) etched their names into the MSHSAA softball record books, winning their third consecutive MSHSAA Class 2 softball championship with a 5-1 victory over Benton-Kelly.
Taylor Baxter struck out 16 Lady Hawks in the championship game and 11 more during a 10-0 six inning semi-final win over Mid-Buchanan.
Macy Bross hit a line drive home run and drove in three Palmyra runs in the championship game. Brittany White went 3-4 with a home run and three driven in during the Panther’s semi-final contest.
Canton (20-8) brought home third place in Class 1. The Lady Tigers lost to eventual state champion Jefferson (21-4) in the semi final round by a 15-3 margin. Jessi Logsdon had a three run first inning Canton double. The game was tied at three after the first inning.
Kara Uhlmeyer stroked an RBI single in the first inning of the third place game for the lone run of a 1-0 victory over Walnut Grove. Kristyn Caldwell struck out 15 Lady Tigers with one walk. Caldwell recorded nine strikeouts and six bases on balls in the Canton semi-final game.
Jefferson edged Crocker 2-1 in eight innings for the Class 1 championship. Kirksville (24-6) captured fourth place in Class 3. The Lady Tigers were defeated by Cape Girardeau Notre Dame (28-1) in 13 innings by a 3-2 final score in the semi-final round.
Republic downed Kirksville 8-2 in the Class 3 third place game. Kirksville pitcher Jackie Bishop recorded 315 strikeouts on the season according to the Kirksville Daily Express. The total ranks sixth on the MSHSAA single season record list.
Platte County (30-3) thwarted Notre Dame’s unbeaten state championship bid with a 7-1 win in the Class 3 title game. Kansas City Blue Springs South defeated St. Louis Parkway South 7-1 to win the Class 4 softball championship. Webb City upended St. Louis Francis Howell Central 12-0 in five innings for the Class 4 third place award.
At least one Northeast Missouri softball team has won a state championship since 1997. Palmyra took the 2006 Class 2champonship and Silex won the Class 1 first place trophy. Bevier won the Class 1 title in 2005 and Highland claimed the Class 2 crown the same season.
New Franklin won the 2003 Class 1 championship and Putnam County took first place in Class 2 LaPlata won the 1999 Class 1 softball championship while Westran took first in Class 2 the same season.
The 2008 softball championships were held in St. Joseph, over three hours driving distance for most area residents. MSHSAA currently plans to hold the 2009 and beyond softball championships in Springfield, Missouri.