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The Ava Lady Bears softball team went from an enviable 12-2 record to 12-6 over the weekend with four losses in the Branson Tournament on Saturday. The Ava ladies continued their slide on Monday, dropping a decisioin at home to West Plains, 8-5.
The Lady Bears got back on track Tuesday, however, traveling to Springfield Parkview where they took a 19-3 decision before beginning district play at Rogersville on Wednesday.
Ava entered the district tournament as the No. 2 seed behind Bolivar which drew a first-round bye. The Lady Bears defeated Hollister 14-2 on Wednesday and advance to play the winner of the Buffalo (3) vs. Marshfield (6) game at 4 o’clock today (Thursday) in the semifinals.
The championship game will be played at 12 noon on Saturday.
In tournament action on Saturday at Branson, Ava dropped decisions to Springfield Kickapoo 16-1, Pleasant Hope 11-0, Springfield Hillcrest 6-2, and Fair Grove 6-5.
The Lady Bears got off to a slow start at home Monday and trailed the Zizzers 5-0 before finally putting a run on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning. West Plains got one back in the top of the fifth, but Ava scored four times in the bottom half to trail 6-5 going into the final inning of play after a scoreless sixth frame.
West Plains scored two more runs in the top of the seventh, and the game ended 8-5 when the Lady Bears went down in order.
Ava left the bases loaded in the sixth inning but could not muster a run.
A highlight of the game for Ava came in the fifth inning when Callie Eubanks fielded a single to center field and fired a strike to the plate. Catcher Jacey Swofford applied the tag on Kimbrough trying to score from second, for the third out of the inning.
Pitcher Abby Sparnicht was 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and an RBI. Swofford was 2-for-4 with a double and a run batted in.
Courtesy runner MaKenna Hunsaker scored two runs for Ava.
At Parkview on Tuesday, the Lady Bears pounded out 12 hits, including a home run by senior shortstop Hannah Johnson.
Johnson was 3-for-5 on the day with three runs scored and three RBIs.
Misty Regennitter was 3-for-4 with a double and two singles, and also drove in three runs.
Kayte Aid was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Tailer Stofer was 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored.
Courtesy runner MaKenna Hunsaker also scored three runs for Ava.