A strong start ended in disappointment for Republic at the Springfield Invitational Saturday, as the Lady Tigers won their way into the championship bracket, finishing fourth after dropping their last two games. Republic ended its weekend with a record of 3-2 in the tournament.
Saturday morning, Republic won a thriller, 12-11 over Liberty, to finish up pool play. With Republic trailing 11-10, Lilli Richerson hit a walk-off double to score Paige Elsenraat and Addison Walker with the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Richerson and Sammi Watson each had three base hits, and Walker had two. Watson also drove in three runs.
The Lady Tigers opened bracket play with a 4-0 loss to Kickapoo in the semifinals. The two teams combined for only five base hits. Kickapoo pushed across two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth against Cass Ellison to pick up the win and advance to the finals, while Republic moved into the third-place game.
Playing for third place against Central Ozark Conference rival Webb City, Republic had a chance to avenge an earlier loss to the Lady Cardinals. But despite a strong performance from pitchers Piper Dishman and Kara Goeke, Republic lost a lead late in the game. Republic committed five errors, including four in the bottom of the fifth inning. Those four errors led to four runs, and Webb City overcame a 5-2 deficit to win 6-5. Offensively, Dishman led Republic with a 1-for-1 performance and two walks.
Republic had beaten Marion C. Early and Camdenton Friday to open the tournament. They finished the weekend with a season record of 15-3.