Sloan Swearngin’s pace was brisk and effective, facing four over the minimum in a game where she hardly felt uncomfortable.
Aside from a triple in the sixth, Green Ridge produced little hard contact off Lincoln’s starter, and the No. 2 seed Lady Cardinals advanced to the semis of the Kaysinger Conference Tournament with an 8-2 victory in Sedalia.
Swearngin struck out 10 batters in seven innings and allowed three hits and no walks.
“I was just trying to get ahead early,” Swearngin said. “And whenever I was ahead, just move the ball around.”
Green Ridge head coach Melissa Brock said Swearngin’s rhythm and speed challenged the Lady Tiger lineup.
“It took a little while to get used to their pitcher,” Brock said. “She’s a lot quicker than what we’ve seen so far. It took us a time or two at bat to figure that out.”
Lincoln did all the damage they needed in the first. Paige Bybee led off the inning with a double. Swearngin, who was hit by two pitches Friday, followed with her first walk. Taylor Sanders drove in a run with a single, and Shelby Vandeveer benefited from an error at first to score Swearngin.
Genesis Smith, who had two RBIs, drove in Sanders with a single. When Aleah Paxton raced home during a 4-6 putout, Lincoln led 4-0.
The Lady Cardinals scored one in the second, fifth and added two runs in the second.
Madison Billingsley led off the top of the sixth with a single. MacKenley Scotten drove her in with a triple, the hardest-struck hit Green Ridge earned on the day. She scored on a groundout to second on the next at bat.
No. 7 seed Green Ridge was retired in order after a Natalie Hammers leadoff single in the seventh.
Quincy Scotten, a sophomore, pitched a complete game and struck out three. She allowed six hits after a 4-run first inning.
Lincoln head coach Staci Siercks said the Lady Cardinal’s approach against Quincy Scotten could have been better.
“It’s a patience thing, and we have to focus more,” Siercks said. “Hit better pitches.”
Green Ridge faces the winner of Smithton and Tipton tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at Centennial Field in Sedalia.
Lincoln advances to the semifinals tomorrow against Cole Camp at 11 a.m.
Sacred Heart 12, Northwest 9
Green Ridge 11, Tipton 1
Windsor 12, Otterville 1
Cole Camp 16, Smithton 1
La Monte 18, Sacred Heart 0
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-530-0142 ext. 1484 or on twitter at @abagueros2