The People's Tribune

Lady Hawks Come Up Short in Quarterfinal at Pilot Grove

The Clopton Hawks were just a run away from a return trip to the MSHSAA Class 1 Championships, falling 2-1 to the Pilot Grove Tigers on Saturday in the Quarterfinals.

The Tigers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when fifth place hitter Natalie Rentel deposited a Maya Street pitch behind the left centerfield fence.

The blast could have been the second of back to back blasts, but Jillian Lockard pulled back a ball destined for the seats with a catch over the wall.

The Pilot Grove lead held at 1-0 until the sixth as the Hawks stranded three runners against pitcher Samarah Bailey.

The Tigers struck with another tally in the top of the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly after back to back hits.

Clopton got on the board in the bottom of the frame when Kaitlyn Kuntz was hit by a pitch leading off and went to third on a single from Taylor Smith.

Kuntz would score on a double by Street and the Hawks had runners at second and third with just one out in a 2-1 game.

With two outs McCaylee McPike nearly beat out a grounder to short that would have tied the contest, but the out was made and Clopton was down to just three outs to attempt a tie.

Bailey would retire the first two batters in the seventh before a Jillian Lockard single put the tying run aboard.

Kuntz was up next and lifted a ball to short center with Lockard rounding the bases. The ball looked as though it would fall amid confusion in the field, by was wedged between the shortstop and centerfielder long enough for an out to end the season for Clopton.

Street took the loss in her final start for Clopton, allowing two earned runs while striking out eleven Tiger hitters.

Clopton had advanced to the quarters with a 2-0 Sectional win over Northeast(Cairo) on Wednesday in Troy.

A McPike fly to left was mishandled in the fourth inning, allowing Allison Hunter to score for the first Clopton run.

The Hawks added another tally in the top of the sixth when McCaylee brought home Maya Street with a sacrifice fly.

Street fanned eleven in the Sectional as well, allowing just one Bearcat hit.

The Hawks finished the season with an 18-9 record.

Clopton will have to replace three starters next season as they will graduate pitcher Maya Street, catcher McCaylee McPike and first bagger Allison Hunter.

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