POPLAR BLUFF -- One might say Kelly pulled through for Kelly on Tuesday.
Sophomore Kelly Essner pitched a gem against Poplar Bluff and scored the winning run, leading the Kelly Lady Hawks to a 3-2 victory.
On the mound, she allowed two earned runs on two hits, two walks and had three strikeouts, improving to 4-0 on the year. At the plate, she was 2-for-4 and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning.
"She has really stepped up as a player," said Kelly coach Rhonda Evans. "She's a good all-around athlete. She steps up to the mound and does a good job pitching. She just had three strikeouts, but the hits (Poplar Bluff) had were nothing the defense couldn't handle."
Poplar Bluff scored one run in the second inning and one in the fifth. For Kelly, Dana Essner and Andrea Kluesner both scored in the second inning. At the plate, Sara Essner was 2-for-4, Ashley Kern was 2-for-3 and Monica Senciboy was 2-for-3. Dana Essner was 1-for-4 with an RBI. Allison Johnson had a sacrifice fly with an RBI and Cara Scherer also had an RBI.
"It was a very close game, a lot closer than the first time when we had (Poplar Bluff) at home," said Evans. "We had nine hits, but only came across the plate three times. It's amazing how you can punch out that many hits, but only get three runs. They were just so scattered out across the seven innings."
Poplar Bluff's Ploetze was charged with the loss. The Lady Mules' two hits came from Welchance and Crunk. Kelly (13-4) will host Notre Dame today at 4 p.m. The Lady Hawks lost to the Lady Bulldogs on Monday, 2-1 in nine innings.