Ash Grove Lady Pirates reach Final Four, championship

Michael L. Misfeldt

The Lady Pirates come together to celebrate after winning the semifinals and moving onto the finals of the state championship the afternoon of Monday May 20 in Springfield. (Photos by Steve Chapman)

Madison Lutz slides into third base after hitting a triple.

Shown above, Ash Grove’s 4X400 relay team of Ryan Troxell, Harison Thompson, Julian Rea and Dylan Gray finished with a time of 3:29.85, setting a new school record. An old record, of 3:32.9, was set in 1992 by Jason Clark, Duane Cox, Andy Thompson and James Smirl.

The Ash Grove High School golf team earned a fourth place finish at state competition last week, with two players placing in the top 15. Pirate Brock Long ended play with a 12th place finish, while Asher Rust took the 15th spot amongst the state competition. Shown above with their fourth place trophy are coach Grant Williamson, Brock Long, Easton Rust, Asher Rust and David Scerbina. (Photos submitted)

Wallop Bernie Lady Mules in semifinal, 17-4; played Concordia for state title
The Ash Grove High School Lady Pirates softball team defeated the Bernie High School Lady Mules at the semifinals for the Class 1 State Championship semifinals on Monday, May 20, at the Killian Sports Complex in Springfield to advance to the finals on Tuesday, May 21. The Lady Pirates defeated the Lady Mules, 17-4.
The teams were tied early in the game. Ash Grove scored two runs at the top of the first inning, only to see Bernie pull ahead by scoring three runs at the bottom. The Lady Pirates then scored two more runs at the top of the second, but Bernie scored another run, tying both teams 4-4.
The Lady Pirates pulled ahead at the top of the third inning when they scored a run, and from there, they kept building their lead, scoring another run in the fourth inning, followed by three more in the fifth. The Lady Pirates gained four more in both the sixth and seventh innings to bring their final tally to an impressive 17.
During the latter part of the game, the Lady Pirates consistently managed to load the bases, giving them more opportunities to score runs. Coach Austin Tipton explained the strategy behind this.
“A lot of it had to do with just being patient and … working walks,” he said. “I don’t know how many walks we worked today, but we were waiting on pitches to get in the zone. And when they were in the zone; we were hitting them, put them in play.”
Second base player Madison Grube attributed the team’s success to the team coming together in the latter half of the game.
“We started out a little shaky,” she said, “but we brought it together at the end, and we played as a team and finished it. We figured out that we weren’t communicating in the beginning, so we had to talk about how we need to communicate better, and it just brought us all together.”
Ashlyn Gerla, senior shortstop, said she and her teammates encouraged each other throughout the game, helping one another to do their best.
“I think when we cheer,” she said, “and we’re more motivated about each other, like we just hype each other up, that’s when we do a lot better.”
Grube said it was hard to believe the team had gotten so far in the championship.
“I think this is the first year that Ash Grove’s ever been to the Final Four in general,” she said. “So, it’s insane that we get to go to the championship.”
The Lady Pirates returned to Killian Sports Complex on Tuesday, May 21, to face the Concordia Lady Orioles in the finals.
Seasons end for baseball, golf; track athletes at state competition in Jefferson City
The Pirates and Lady Pirates track season also came to an end last weekend, as they competed in the Class 2 state championships in Jefferson City on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18.
For the girls’ Millison Sapp finished seventh in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 12:11.57 and 11th in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:46.43; Marissa Andrus finished 11th in the discus with a throw of 30.4 meters.
For the boys at state competition, the 4X400-meter relay team of Julian Rea, Ryan Troxell, Harison Thompson and Dylan Gray finished fifth while breaking a school record and the 4X800-meter relay team finished 12th.
The season continues for the Ash Grove High School softball team after they knocked off Liberal, 4-2, at Liberal on Tuesday, May 14, in the Class 1, quarterfinals of the state softball tournament.
Ash Grove got on the board first after a two-run home run from Chelsye Graham gave the Lady Pirates a 2-0 lead after the first inning. Ash Grove added another run in the third inning to increase their lead to 3-0, but Liberal answered back with two runs in the fourth inning to cut the Ash Grove lead to a single run. The Lady Pirates added an insurance run in the fifth inning to seal the win, 4-2.
Ashlyn Gerla went 1-2 with an RBI, Graham was 1-1 with a home run and two RBIs, Myah Johnson went 2-3 with a double and an RBI and Meagan Hawkins got the win, going seven innings allowing no earned runs, while striking out seven.
“Overall, we had a pretty solid game against Liberal,” said head coach Austin Tipton. “We had a few struggles in the field but overcame them and I am confident that we can get them figured out before our next game. Hawkins threw a great game for us again; I feel she has gotten better as the year has gone on and has turned it up a notch as the games have gotten more important. We are grateful to be continuing our season and excited for the chance to compete in the Final Four.”
Ash Grove is now 23-9 after besting the Bernie Lady Mules in the semifinal matchup, Monday, May 20, 17-4. They played for the championship the afternoon of Tuesday, May 21, against Concordia in Springfield.

As the Lady Pirates continue their path for a softball state title, the season has come to end for the Pirates baseball team after they lost to Lincoln, 6-5, in the opening round of the Class 2, District 13 tournament at Ozark on Tuesday, May 14.
The Pirates end the season with an 11-6 record.



Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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