On May 17, the Grant County Lady Braves softball team faced off against the Simon Kenton Pioneers in the district championship. Following a close game for the first few innings Grant managed to break away in the third before closing the game in the sixth inning, for an 11-1 victory.

The first inning saw the Braves briefly on defense as Brianna Knochelman struck out three batters. Heading into the bottom of the inning Kylie Rayburn was first at-bat and was walked. Following a forceout by the Pioneers at first Rayburn was able to steal third threatening Simon Kenton’s defense.

An RBI from Knochelman earned the Brave’s first run as Kylie scored. Although Kaylee Mullins and Alexis Cull both earned base hits following this run Grant didn’t advance their lead further due to a ground out at first.

As the game progressed the Braves once again shut out the Pioneers’ offense with Knochelman gaining two additional strikeouts and Cull making a catch at first base. Despite dominating on defense during the second inning Grant was unable to generate offensively with Morgan Mink gaining the only base.

During the third inning, the Braves were able to greatly extend their lead over Simon Kenton. With Knochelman striking out three, Grant returned to the plate in the bottom of the inning. Once again Rayburn was walked as the first hitter, however this time Jaylie Vance singled putting two on base. Thanks to a triple from Knochelman the Brave’s lead grew as both Vance and Rayburn took home.

See District/Page B5

Courtesy runner Myla Rose soon followed with an RBI from Mullins making it 4-0. Carrying the momentum Cull along with Payton Gosney both earned base hits.

Despite the Pioneer’s efforts a single from Mink put the Braves ahead by six with Cull and Gosney scoring runs before the close of the inning. Within the fourth inning, Simon Kenton earned a run due to walks and a double to center field making it 6-1. The Braves did not manage a response in the bottom of the inning with three ground outs cutting Grant short.

During the fifth inning, neither side made advances with the defenses competing heavily. In the sixth, however, the Brave’s offense once again heated up.

Earning three outs with Gosney catching a fly ball and two strikeouts the Braves went on to finish the game during the inning with a run rule.

Mink, Liza Simpson, Sarah Smith, Mullins, and Cull all scored in the inning finishing the game at 11-1. As a single from Kaidyn Hudson brought home Cull for Grant’s 11th run the Braves became District Champions.

Mink, Cull, and Vance made the All Tournament Team while Knochelman was tournament MVP.

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