The Lady Eagles gave it all they had in a road matchup with FC leading Crestview, but fell short 3-0 on an eighth inning, walk-off, three-run homer giving the Lady Cougars the outright FC championship and putting a stop to Monroeville’s chances.
The Lady Eagles had just three hits on the evening and never had a runner get past second base. Ashlyn Tommas, Skiler Hershiser and Courtney Kraft each had singles for the struggling Eagle offense that beat Crestview a night before on a Tommas walkoff double to put the Eagles in the race for a share of the FC championship.
“We just didn’t have it offensively tonight,” Monroeville coach Abe Helmstetter said. “We played a flawless seven innings of softball and I couldn’t ask for anything more than that, but we just could not get anything going on offense.”
The Eagles and Cougars battled to a 0-0 tie through seven innings. The Cougars loaded the bases in the fifth inning with just one out and seemed destine to score and take the lead in regulation. Sophomore pitcher Carley Helmstetter proceeded to strike out the next two batters — Crestview’s No. 3 and No. 4 batters — to end the threat and the inning.
Tommas roped a line drive two-out single in the third, but the inning ended a batter later. Kraft had a one-out single but was stranded at first after the next two batters went down and Hershiser ripped a one-out single in the fourth but was doubled up off of a line drive to short on a tough play.
Carely Helmstetter took the loss on the rubber despite throwing seven scoreless innings and striking out seven. She allowed just eight hits before allowing the three runs in the eighth.
The Lady Eagles ended the regular season with a 15-5 record and are set to host South Central on Thursday for a sectional championship.
“I am very happy with the regular season we had, but my expectations are very high for this program,” Helmstetter said. “I don’t want to say I am disappointed because I am not even close to being disappointed, but it was frustrating we couldn’t get a run. We played too many games like this and all of our losses were very close like this.”