SPRINGFIELD — Three times Mosley had been the top seed entering the county softball tournament, and each time the Dolphins had been defeated in the championship game.
Friday night at Rutherford, that streak finally came to an end in the fourth version of the five-school tournament.
Did it ever.
Mosley, 12-3, downed host and two-time champion Rutherford 15-0, scoring all of its runs on 13 hits, one walk and three Rutherford errors in the bottom of the third inning. The Dolphins sent 17 batters to the plate in the half inning against quality pitchers in Becca and Curstin Taylor.
The schools are among eight teams in the upcoming Beach Bash tournament beginning Monday on the Rams’ field, but that event didn’t diminish the importance of claiming county bragging rights for some of the Dolphins.
“I’ve been here since my freshman year and when I was a freshman and sophomore we lost to them” in the finals, Selena Estrada said. A senior, Estrada had a home run and four RBIs in the pivotal third, and junior Katie Lopes had a homer, double and four RBIs.
“It was a big accomplishment for us,” Estrada said. “A lot of work went into this.”
The end came with little warning, Becca Taylor having tossed 1-2-3 innings in the first and second. In addition to Estrada and Lopes, however, before the third ended prematurely, Mosley with just two outs when the mercy rule went into effect, Brooke Wilke, Jill Johnson and Laney Hanes also had two hits in the inning.
Johnson, Hanes and Linzie Harrington had doubles in addition to Lopes, and Wilke, Harrington, Grayson Gladden and Andrea McKenzie had run-producing hits.
“Everybody had the energy all the way through,” said Lopes, whose homer was her third of the season. Estrada poled her fourth.
The outburst gave junior pitcher Jill Johnson a brief outing. Johnson struck out six in three innings, allowing only Paige Williamsen’s single and striking out six, including the side in the third.
Rutherford, still the only two-time county champ in the four-year history of the tournament, can erase the sting of Friday’s barrage as early as Monday when the Rams host the three-day Beach Bash at their complex starting at 10 a.m.
- Rutherford 000 — 0 1 3
- Mosley 00(15) — 15 13 0
- B.Taylor (L), C.Taylor (3) and Pledger; Johnson (W) and McKenzie.
- LOB: Rutherford 1, Mosley 1. E: Rutherford (Barron, Todd, B.Taylor). 2B: Johnson, Hanes, Harrington, Lopes. HR: Estrada, Lopes. SAC: Pledger, Harrigill. SB: Wilke. WP: C.Taylor. PB: Pledger 2. RBIs: Mosley (Estrada 4, Lopes 4, Gladden, Wilke, McKenzie, Harrington).