The Lady Bulldogs proved it wasn't a fluke on Wednesday as Sikeston held on for a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Kelly High School.
Kelly put together one last gasp in the bottom of the seventh inning when Brittany Ponder doubled into right field with one out. She tried to stretch it into a triple, but shortstop Allison Blurton, who made several nice plays on the day, fielded an overthrown ball from the outfield and tagged Ponder as she ran by -- all in one motion.
The play saved the possible tying run from scoring as the Lady Bulldogs recorded the final out for the victory.
"Ali's last play was marvelous," said Sikeston coach Tiffany Glastetter. "She's been struggling a bit on the bats, but she doesn't let it affect her defense. She just gives you her heart all the time and she made some great plays tonight."
"We had several opportunities to score -- we had two innings where we had two runners on and couldn't get them in," said Evans. "Then this last inning we got tagged out trying to push a triple. When the score's 2-1 you've got to try to push what you can, but it didn't go our way. Tiffany's got several athletes over there. And when I say athletes, I mean well-rounded athletes no matter what sport you put them in. You expect that out of (Blurton). It's a very tough game -- one that you hate to lose, especially when you have six seniors."
Sikeston took the lead in the top of the fifth. Elizabeth Heeb drew a walk and Ashley Brown pinch ran for her. After a Paige Silverthorn walk, both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch.
Barbara Hobbs' infield single with two outs brought home Brown with the game's first run.
Kelly (3-2) tied the game in the bottom of the sixth when a Kristin Harper double brought home Rachel Kline.
Sikeston took the lead for good in the top of the seventh when Silverthorn got on with an infield single.
After stealing a base, Hobbs put down a sacrifice bunt to move Silverthorn up to third. Molly Brinkmeyer drove home Silverthorn with a single to right field for the eventual game-winning run.
"The girls played well," said Glastetter. "We were little shaky at times but we fought through it. I know the girls wanted this game as bad as I did. They love to play competition and we had tough competition today. Our offense just didn't click. We couldn't get our bunts down again and hitting wise we were either ahead or behind. Their pitching was good. We just managed to scrap out a couple runs."
Brinkmeyer was the winning pitcher, allowing one run off five hits, no walks and one hit batter. She struck out three.
Kelly Essner took the loss in two innings of relief. She allowed one run and two hits while striking out three. Whitney Beggs threw well in getting the no-decision, allowing one run off three hits and three walks. She struck out seven.
Brinkmeyer had two hits and one RBI. Silverthorn, Hobbs and Aly Friend each had one hit.
Kelly's Ponder, Essner, Jessica Burnett, Kline and Harper each had one hit.
Evans said her hitters never could solve Brinkmeyer's pitching.
"Everything was dropping," said Evans. "The girls were talking about her being slower than what they thought she'd be. They couldn't get it in their minds to scoot up in the box and hit. When they were they were jamming and dropping their back shoulder. Every time you do that, it's just going to go straight up. That's what happened every inning."
Glastetter, a 1998 graduate of Kelly, had mixed emotions following the win for her team. She played under Evans when they won the state championship her senior year.
"It was a bittersweet victory," said Glastetter. "I enjoy winning, but it's difficult being around all these girls. I know the Kelly girls as much as I know our girls. We played the same type of ball and we made the plays when we had to."