Haidyn Berry powered Webb City at the plate and in the circle, leading the Cardinals to a 5-4 win at Republic and delivering Webb City a second straight Central Ozark Conference title. Berry slugged a long three-run home run in the second inning to put Webb City on top 5-1, and she did just enough to keep the Lady Tigers from completing a late-inning comeback.
Webb City broke on top in the first inning after loading the bases with no one out against Mara Lakey. But Lakey worked out of trouble after allowing just a single run and that allowed Republic to stay in the game the rest of the way. The Lady Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the first when Kaitlyn Ragsdale reached on a bunt single and came around to score on a groundout by Avery Romans.
In the top of the second, the Cardinals scored four more, capped by Berry’s three-run homer – her 16th of the season.
The score remained 5-1 until the bottom of the fourth when A.J. Fenske doubled and scored. In the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Tigers scored two more with a two-out rally. Emma White singled and Emi Essary hit a home run over the right field fence, directly into a fierce wind, to bring Republic within a run, 5-4. It was Essary’s second homer of the year.
Avery Romans, who relieved Lakey in the third inning and pitched four scoreless innings, retired Webb City 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh to set up a potential dramatic win. But Berry retired Jaci West and Kaitlyn Ragsdale to start the bottom of the seventh, and after Jenna Belcher singled and stole second, Berry retired Fenske on a groundout to shortstop to end the game.
It was the 22nd win of the season for Webb City. Republic falls to 7-3.