When two pitchers like McCracken County's Neely Quint and Massac's County's Brittany McFall are painting the corners like Picasso did a canvas, the game usually comes down to which team can capitalize at the opportune moment.
Thanks to bookend runs in the top of the first and top of the seventh, Massac County was the one and used the opportunities to come away with a 2-0 victory Tuesday at McCracken County's field on Senior Night.
The loss is the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association's top-ranked Lady Mustangs' first in 11 games, breaking a 10-game losing streak.
Quint tossed a three-hitter, struck out six and allowed the earned run in top of the seventh for McCracken County (28-5).
"The biggest disappointment tonight is we didn't come and back up a girl who I've been on personally about throwing a great game," McCracken County coach Tony Hayden said. "She comes out and does her job, even though the first error that led to a run was on her and we had the throwing errors after that, and throws a three-hitter and we didn't do our job behind her. We didn't adjust to the bat like I asked them to after the third inning. They just kept going up there and swinging the same way, and you can't do that against someone who doesn't throw hard.
"She moved the ball around and they've got good coaches over there. But if you keep swinging there's no sense for her to change nothing."
McFall, whose single in the top of the seventh knocked in the final run, gave up just one hit to go along with a strikeout for the Lady Patriots (15-6).
"The key for us was we came in with a plan and it was for Brittany to move the ball around, mix speeds and change locations," Massac County coach Pat Clark said. "I told her after the game that was by far the best game she's pitched. We just executed everything to a T. Defensively, we got the good luck, hard luck or whatever you want to call it run in the first inning, which ended up being enough. But Brittany helping herself and getting the big RBI hit at the end was huge for us. That allowed us to breathe a little deeper and head out to the seventh knowing we just had to take care of business and get three outs."
Massac County's first run came when Josie Garduno, who reached on a error by Quint, scored from third on a throwing error by Hannah Ridolfi with two outs on the board.
The Lady Patriots got things going again in the top of the seventh when Mackenzie Cowgill smacked a one-out triple. Two batters later, McFall laced her single to plate Cowgill.
"For us to lose that game on Senior Night isn't what we wanted," Hayden said. "They are a good opponent, but that's not the point. We should have been more prepared and hit the ball better than we hit the ball to give ourselves the chance to win."
Massac County 100 000 1 2 3 1
McCracken County 000 000 0 0 2 2
MA: Brittany McFall and Mckenzie Cowgill; MC: Neely Quint and Hannah Ridolfi
WP: McFall LP: Quint
2B: none. 3B: MA - Cowgill. none. HR: none. Top hitters: MA - J. Garduno 1-3; Cowgill 2-3, run; McFall 1-3, RBI. MC - Henson 1-3; Humphrey 1-3.
Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow on Twitter @psunsports.
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