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All-star team wins championship
All-star girls.jpg
Members of the McMinnville girls 7-9 all-star team are, front row, from left, Maddie Bryant, Serenity Martin, Aven King, Livia Wilson, Lucy Mulligan, Emalyn Cochran, and June Corsett. Back row, Willa Denning, Ella Pennywell, Caroline Boyd, Braelyn Lefevers, Ella Wells and Kate Williams.
All star Ella Wells at 3B.jpg
Ella Wells of the McMinnville all-stars beats a throw to third base in a Monday night home doubleheader against Smithville in coach pitch softball.

The first game required a dramatic comeback in their final bat.

The second game was a blowout.

McMinnville’s 7-9 girls all-star team swept a doubleheader against DeKalb County on Monday to win what was billed as a state championship matchup in coach pitch softball.

Spectacular defense and crushing hits carried the McMinnville all-stars in two games played on Jim Mansfield Field at Milner Recreation Center.

McMinnville won the opening game 10-9, scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the fifth to earn the win when Kate Williams scored Willa Denning from third base with a ground ball.

The nightcap wasn’t close. McMinnville won by the run rule, 15-4.

A great comeback lifted McMinnville to victory in the opener, but eye-catching defensive plays were made throughout. Livia Wilson made a running catch in centerfield on a towering fly ball to snuff a DeKalb County scoring opportunity in the fifth.

With the bases loaded in the third, Ella Pennywell stopped a hard grounder at third base and stepped on her bag in a play that kept at least two runs from scoring.

Braelyn Lefevers and Kate Williams, both playing catcher, caught pop-ups behind the plate to record outs in foul territory.

Kate Williams and Ella Wells got the McMinnville offense cranking in the first when they crushed hits that reached the fence. 

McMinnville was up 3-1 after one inning.

McMinnville’s only bad inning in the field came in the fourth. DeKalb County was trailing 3-2 but scored 7 runs to take a 9-3 lead.

DeKalb County held a 9-5 lead when McMinnville came to bat for the final time because the one-hour time limit had expired. Braelyn Lefevers, Aven King and Emalyn Cochran all sparked the rally with hits and Lucy Mulligan delivered with a blast to left field that scored two. 

Willa Denning scored Mulligan with a hit and Ella Wells hit a high fly ball that dropped in the infield for another hit. That left Kate Williams at the plate to score a fast-running Denning from third base with a ground ball to win it, 10-9.

In the nightcap, it was all McMinnville as the team was up 8-1 after two innings, then slammed the door by holding DeKalb County scoreless in the third.