GREENFIELD —Both teams had one big inning, but in the end, Nodaway Valley’s five-run third proved to be the difference in an 8-3 Class 2A Region 7 victory over Mount Ayr here Tuesday night.
The young Mount Ayr team — pitcher Morgan Quick was the only senior on the field for the Raiderettes Tuesday — ends its season at 7-24. Nodaway Valley improves to 14-18, including three wins over Mount Ayr, but this was the toughest of the three. The two previous victories were by scores of 11-1 and 7-1.
Tuesday’s game shaped up that way early when the Wolverines sent 10 batters to the plate in the third inning, taking a 6-0 lead.
But Mount Ayr fought back into it with a three-run fourth, scoring on an RBI hit by No. 9 batter Macy Larsen, an infield error and a wild pitch.
NV pitcher Paige McElfish allowed only two baserunners the rest of the game. She also had a big hit to help provide insurance runs in the seventh, with a deep RBI double. Sydney Reeves drew a bases-loaded walk for the eighth run.
Both coaches said the game of big runs was indicative of their season to date.
“There’s always that one inning,” Mount Ayr coach Ranae Klinkefus said. “That’s the story of our season. But we find a way to battle. We’re pretty good at getting all of our runs in one inning.”
Klinkefus sees a bright future, as a stable of pitchers is still available as Quick graduates, including sophomore Shelbie Greene and eighth-graders Larsen and Tessa Shields.
“We’ve got five eighth-graders and only two juniors out there, so we’re looking forward to the future,” Klinkefus said.
NV coach Ray Stewart said he knew his team couldn’t be comfortable with a 6-0 cushion, considering past history.
“We’ve done that all year,” Stewart said. “We get a lead, then we kind of back off, I don’t know why. I could tell Paige hit a wall there in the middle of the game. But she got through it. She has a really good changeup and tonight she threw it quite a bit.”
Josie Carter and Sadie Harter at the top of the lineup provided four hits and three runs to spark the Wolverines, while McElfish finished 3-for-5. Emily Huntington and Megan McIntosh also had two hits each with McIntosh driving in two runs from the No. 9 spot.
Nodaway Valley stranded 14 runners in the game, so Quick continually worked out of jams on a hot, sultry night.
Central Decatur (16-9), a 5-4 winner over Mount Ayr in the regular season finale, hosts Nodaway Valley tonight in the quarterfinal round at Leon. CD won the only previous meeting this season, 11-5.
Nodaway Valley 8, Mt. Ayr 3
R H E
N. Valley 105 000 2 — 8 12 2
Mt. Ayr 000 300 0 — 3 5 4
NV: Paige McElfish 6K 2BB and Sydney Reeves. MA: Morgan Quick 5K 8BB and Paige Daughton. W — McElfish. L— Quick. 2B — NV: Josie Carter, McElfish. RBI — MA: Macy Larsen 1; NV: Megan McIntosh 2, Reeves 1, Sadie Harter 1, McElfish 1. Multiple hitters — NV: McElfish 3, Carter 2, Emily Huntington 2, McIntosh 2; MA: Tessa Shields 2, Larsen 2.