BENTON -- It took four innings to do, but the Kelly Lady Hawks finally broke free from what was becoming the pitcher's duel that everyone was expecting.
Kelly's Danielle Dock and Twin River's Carlee Vancil, who each have been highly touted as some of the area's best hurler's, both took the mound for their respective teams in the sectional round of the Class 2 state tournament on Tuesday with the Lady Hawks finishing on top 7-0.
With two runners on base and the No. 5 hitter, Kelsey Snider, at the plate, Twin Rivers was in prime position to grab a quick advantage over the home team.
"She started out strong but she always has that one inning where she kind of gets a little nervous," Ratledge said about Dock's first inning. "But, we told her 'to either do it or we're done, we don't get to come back tomorrow.'"
Including the strikeout to Snider, Dock sat down 14 straight after the first inning and did not allow a single runner on base until the sixth inning. Chelsea Crane broke the trend with a single into left field.
Kelly's hurler ended up with 10 strikeouts and allowed only two hits in seven innings.
"She (Dock) threw a very good game," said Ratledge. "She settled down and got the job done for us."
The Lady Hawks busted out with four runs in the fourth inning on one hit.
Katee Moore led off the inning with a walk and was bunted over to second by Haley Glastetter. The next two batters, Casey Kern and Dock, each drew a walks as well to load the bases. With the bases loaded, Moore scored on a wild pitch while Kern and Dock each moved up one base.
The No. 6 hitter, Heather Beggs, broke the game open with a single that she ended up reaching third on.
Kern scored easily from third while Beggs rounded first and headed for second base. As she raced for second, Dock took the liberty and made her way home by beating out the throw for the second run. On the throw to home, Beggs took a chance of her own and started for third and ended up safe.
"We were able to execute enough on what Heather (Beggs) did," Ratledge said. "She cleared the bags on some kind of silly stuff and made it all the way over to third."
Beggs was eventually brought home by a Brittany Brantley fielders choice play.
Kelly added one in the fifth when Moore scored her second run on a sacrifice fly from Kern. They added two more in the seventh when Moore, again, scored on a double from Kern. Kern later scored when she took third and home on two wild pitches.
Twin Rivers two hits were collected by Vancil and Crane. Vancil allowed seven runs (four earned) on five hits and seven walks. She also struck out three.
Kelly will now head to the quarterfinal round at the Ballwin Athletic Association in Ballwin on Saturday.