They’re going to have to make some more room in the trophy case at Northwest High School.
The Northwest Lady Mustang softball team won their third Kaysinger Conference Tournament title in the last four years with a 5-1 win over top-seeded Smithton in the championship game Thursday night at Mandy Thomas Field in Centennial Park.
Pitching is the name of the game in fast-pitch softball. Northwest captured the Kaysinger Conference Tournament titles both in 2009 and 2010 with the pitching of Mariah (Wiskur) Middleton.
This year, Northwest freshman Sammi Unkel has taken the league by storm. The right-hander displayed a wide variety of pitches to lead her team past the top-seeded Lady Tigers. Unkel allowed one earned run, six hits, struck out seven and hit a batter to pick up the win.
Smithton pitcher McKenzie Treece pitched pretty well herself. She allowed five runs (three earned), eight hits, struck out seven and walked two in going the distance for the loss.
Second-seeded Northwest, 10-2 on the season, took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Paige Norfleet singled and took second on a passed ball. Unkel reached on an error to score Norfleet. Freshman Lakota Wiskur doubled to score Unkel to put Northwest up 2-0.
Northwest went up 3-0 in the second inning when Alyssa Durrill walked, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Caiti Alexander.
Smithton got runners on base in every inning but the fourth, stranding five runners in the first three innings and eight in the game. Northwest’s defense, especially in the outfielder, kept Smithton off the board until the fifth. Northwest’s outfielders’ ran down three balls in the gaps that kept Smithton from putting big innings on the board.
Northwest put two more runs on the board in the fifth on an RBI triple by Wiskur and an RBI single by Kendall Walk to take a 5-0 lead.
Wiskur went 2-for-4 with a double and triple, scored a run and drove in one. Norfleet and Unkel each had two hits for Northwest.
Smithton broke up Unkel’s shutout bid in the bottom of the fifth when Mariah Cairer singled and scored on a double by Katelyn Smith.
In two outings against Smthton this season, Unkel is 2-0 and has allowed just one run in 14 innings. She shutout Smott 1-0 earlier in Kaysinger Conference regular-season game.
Cierra Monsees went 2-for-4 to lead the Lady Tiger offense. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.