The Lady Hawks came into the championship game with a record of 3-0 in the tournament, as did Notre Dame, but a solid pitching performance from Notre Dame's Lauren Reinagel was all that the Lady Bulldogs would need for victory.
"We beat a tough Poplar Bluff team to get in this game," Kelly head coach Rhonda Ratledge said. "This was our goal before the tournament to get into this championship game. We knew that Notre Dame would be here and show up ready to play.
"We just didn't get our hits like I knew we would need. Notre Dame did."
Kelly was held to just three hits in the game, one off the bat of Katee Moore and two doubles from Sarah Ruff.
In relief, Jessica Riley threw the last four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and also recorded a strikeout.
In the game prior to the championship game, Kelly battled through a tough opponent in the Poplar Bluff Lady Mules, winning 3-2 in six
innings due to the time limit.
Kern finished the game 2-for-3 with a double, the home run, three RBIs and one run scored.
Riley took the win, going the distance and allowing just seven hits, two runs and adding two strikeouts.
In earlier action, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs won in exciting come-from-
behind action as they pulled off two wins, the first coming against Ste. Genevieve by a score of 12-5.
After trailing 5-2, going into the seventh inning, the Lady Bulldog bats woke up and rose to the occasion, as they exploded for 10 runs off seven hits.
For the game the Lady Bulldogs totaled 12 runs on nine hits, and were led by Courtney Collins, who brought a spark of electricity into the game when she entered in the fifth inning.
"Courtney (Collins) just brought us new life," Sikeston head coach Tiffany King said. "She got down the sacrifices when we had to have them."
Collins had three plate appearances from the fifth inning on, but recorded only one official at-bat, as she finished 1-for-1 in the game, with a single and two sacrifice bunts, one of which she reached on an errant throw and would later score. She added two runs and an RBI.
In their second victory, they faced a much tougher opponent in Goreville, Ill, but still proved victorious as they edged out Goreville by a score of 6-4.
The Lady Bulldogs' bats warmed up in the sixth inning when they scored all six of their runs, including a two-rbi single off the bat of Kaitlyn Turnbow, followed by a two-rbi triple to the fence off the bat of Mary Deason.
Turnbow finished the game 1-for-3 with a single, two RBIs and one run scored. Deason also went 1-for-3 in the game, with a triple, two RBIs and one run scored. Mara Krokstrom also added two singles and a run from the nine-
spot in the lineup.
"I'm so proud of our girls today," King said. "They came from behind and battled when they had to, and I can't say enough about them. These were two big wins for us."
King said their turning point came the night before when the girls started swinging the bats well, and lost a close game by one run.
"The girls were ready for today," King said. "This tournament has given our girls a lot of confidence, and a glimpse of what they can do on the field.
"It just takes a string of hits and some runs and you're in a ball game. We proved that to ourselves this weekend."
Sikeston finished the tournament with a record of 2-2.
Not to be forgotten this weekend was the great play of the Oran Lady Eagles, who also went 2-2 in the tournament.
"We knew we would gain a lot of experience this weekend," head coach Sara Heisserer said. "I'm proud of how we played being as young as we are. This was great for our team."
Oran fell to Notre Dame early in the afternoon on Saturday, then couldn't pull off a tough game against Poplar Bluff, falling 6-0 to the Lady Mules.
The Lady Eagles only plated one run against Notre Dame, with a hit off the bat of Jodi Urhahn, that scored Taylor Irwin.
In the loss to Poplar Bluff, Amanda Williams was 2-for-3, with two singles, and Halle Woodfin and Irwin each added singles, but the Lady Eagles couldn't string them together to score a run.
"We played well against our competition," Heisserer said. "We'll be just fine, we're just going to have to practice harder. We're taking a lot of good out of this tournament."
Callie Kielhofner took the two losses on the day for the Lady Eagles.
All three of the teams will be back in action this week on the diamond. Sikeston and Kelly will both be on the road today with the Lady Bulldogs playing at Cape Central and the Lady Hawks taking on Scott City. Oran will be in action again on Thursday when they travel to Chaffee.