(Brent Shipman, Staff)
"It was 3-2 in the sixth and we kind of fell apart," Sikeston coach Mike Helms said of the loss. "Got a little tired and our pitcher started struggling a little bit.
"Just a couple bad breaks and just kind of everything went against us at that point."
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning, Sikeston's Ricki Tidwell was able to coax leadoff walk out of Heartland before coming around to score to tie the game.
It was in the fourth, however, that the Nationals opened the inning drawing a walk before singling as they scored the go ahead run to make it 3-2.
Finally, in the top of the sixth, Heartland was able to squash any chance of a Sikeston comeback as they mounted a nine-run rally to take a 12-2 lead. The Nationals then came back in the bottom of the frame and retired Sikeston in order to win by the mercy rule.
"It was a well played game until the sixth," Helms said. "Then they hit the ball a little bit and a couple of plays that we should have made that would have got us out of the inning we didn't make."
Leading Sikeston on the contest, Logan Ivie had a pair of hits while Tidwell, Taylor Pyland and Page Rainwater each singled.
Earlier in the day, Sikeston had opened the double-elimination tournament with a lop-sided win of their own. Taking on Haysville, Sikeston put up 10 runs in the final three innings to win 15-5 on the mercy rule.
Breaking out of a 5-5 tied it was four straight hits by Sikeston batters to start of the fourth frame that led to a three-run rally. Sikeston scored another five runs in the fifth to close to within two runs of the mercy rule.
In the sixth, both Tiffany Gilman and Andrea Burks both singled before coming around to score to end the game.
With 15 hits on the contest, Sikeston was led by Tidwell and Burks, who had three hits apiece. Rainwater, Gilman and Ivie each contributed a pair of singles to Sikeston's cause.
With the second round loss to Heartland, Sikeston moves to the loser's bracket where they played Saturday at 11 a.m.