The La Monte Lady Vikings felt disrespected. The rest of the Kaysinger Conference found out why.
The fifth-seeded Lady Vikings knocked off both No. 1 seed Lincoln and No. 2 seed Green Ridge on Saturday to win their second straight Kaysinger Conference softball tournament at Centennial Park.
The Lady Vikings (7-2) rallied three times to beat Green Ridge 7-4 in the championship game.
Winning pitcher Madison Harris was excited about her team’s accomplishment.
“It feels great because coming into the Kaysinger this year, everybody thought for sure that Lincoln was going to the No. 1 team and that we didn’t stand a chance,” Harris said. “Coming out here and proving everyone wrong is a good feeling.”
La Monte coach Dabecka Kirk said, “They took the five seed and they took that as fuel and wanted to show everybody they were not a five seed. I’m pretty proud of how hard they worked.”
Harris, who went 3 for 4 with two doubles and three runs scored, was in the middle of the action throughout the game.
With the Lady Vikings trailing 4-3 entering the top of the seventh, Harris ignited the game-winning rally with a fly ball to medium right field that went in and out of the glove of the right fielder. Harris raced to second on the play.
Alexa Shull, who went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, singled to right to tie the score at 4, and Vada DeMotte singled up the middle for a 5-4 lead. Sandra Arroyo’s triple and Brittany Green’s double tallied two more insurance runs.
“They like to come back. They’re the comeback kids,” Kirk said of the Lady Vikings.
Harris did the rest in the bottom of the seventh. She retired Amber Rhoads on a grounder back to the circle, induced a pop out by MacKenley Scotten for the second out and ended the game on Evette Vincent’s ground out to second.
“She’s a fighter,” Kirk said of Harris. “She has a warrior spirit. That’s what I like to say about her. (She’s) a great kid. She works hard. When she knows that her outfield and infield are behind her, she does what she can to work for them because they work for her.”
Harris was cruising until she encountered trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning with her team leading 3-1. She had retired seven straight and eight of nine entering the frame.
BreAnna Peck reached base with one out because of an error by the first baseman. Harris struck out Libby Dove for the second out, but Molly Turner, who went 2 for 3, singled to station runners at second and third. Madison Brown followed with a two-run double to center field to tie the score. Samantha Unkel singled home the go-ahead run before Harris recovered to induce a ground ball to the circle for the third out.
Harris allowed four runs — three earned — on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts in seven innings.
Her counterpart, Unkel, was dominating at times, striking out eight in seven innings. The right-hander allowed seven runs — three earned — on nine hits and one walk.
Green Ridge (7-2) took a 1-0 lead in the second. Dove led off with a single, moved to second on Turner’s base hit and scored on Unkel’s grounder back to the pitcher.
The Lady Vikings tied the score in the third. With two outs, Harris doubled and scored on Shull’s single up the middle.
La Monte scored two more runs with two outs in the fifth. Harris doubled and scored on Shull’s single, and Shull scored on a wild pitch.