The Pilot Grove Lady Tigers softball team went about business as usual Saturday while capturing first in the Walnut Grove Tournament.
After dismantling the host team in the opening round by a score of 11-0, the Lady Tigers came back and beat Fair Play by the same identical score in the semifinal round. Of course there was no stopping Pilot Grove at that point as the Lady Tigers dominated Houston from the third inning on en route to a 12-5 victory.
While the win improved Pilot Grove’s record to 7-3 on the season, head coach Neal Bailey said  the girls played well all day with only a few errors defensively.
“Kayla (Poulsen) and Melissa (Schlotzhauer) pitched well, and they were able to essentially split the pitching duties for the day,” Bailey said.  “Kayla pitched the Walnut Grove game, Melissa pitched the Houston game. For the Fair Play game Kayla came in relief for Melissa.  Offensively we continue to hit well. We were able to get on base early in several innings with timely hits to follow. We hit up and down the lineup from Melissa Schlotzhauer at the top through Cynthia Brumback in the 7 spot and Celine Dodson in the 9. I am really pleased how well all the girls played, especially when we were down 5-1 early against Houston. The girls did not let the score influence their approach, they remained focused, and came back to win it.... It was really an all around effort.”
In the opening round against Walnut Grove, the Lady Tigers exploded for eight runs in the second inning and then sent three runs across in the third to win by the mercy rule.
Kayla Poulsen picked up the win in the circle for Pilot Grove by giving up just two hits and one walk in three innings. She also struck out one batter.
As for the hitting, Melissa Schlotzhauer went 2-for-2 with a single, double and two RBIs. Kerigan Wessing was 1-for-2 with one triple and three RBIs while McKalie Lorenz and Marissa Day added one double and one RBI each, Kayla Poulsen with a two-RBI single and Cynthia Brumback and Celine Dodson each with a RBI-single.
Heina took the loss for Walnut Grove by giving up 11 runs, nine earned, on eight hits and three walks while striking out two.
Heina also had the only extra base hit in the game for Walnut Grove, being a double.
The Lady Tigers also dominated Fair Play in the second round by putting up nine runs in the third and two again in the fourth to win by the mercy rule.
Melissa Schlotzhauer was the winning pitcher in the circle for Pilot Grove while Kayla Poulsen recorded the save. Schlotzhauer pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up three hits and three walks while striking out five. Poulsen then came in and pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief and surrendered three hits and one walk while striking out three.
Pilot Grove also out-hit Fair Play 13-6, with Marissa Day going 4-for-4 with four singles and one RBI.
Reagan Walker was 2-for-3 with a single, double and one RBI while Celine Dodson added two singles and one RBI, Kerigan Wessing with two singles and one RBI, Cynthia Brumback with one double and two RBIs, Melissa Schlotzhauer with one double and one RBI and Katelyn Renfro with one single and two RBIs.
Cantrell took the loss in the circle for Fair Play by giving up 11 runs, nine earned, on 13 hits and two walks while striking out one.
Harman went 2-for-2 in the game for Fair Play with a single and a double.
In the championship game against Houston, the Lady Tigers had a game on their hands while playing Houston to a 1-1 tie after one and a 5-5 tie after two. However, after pushing across two runs in the bottom-half of the third, Pilot Grove came back and tallied one in the fifth and four again in the sixth for the victory.
Schlotzhauer picked up the win in the circle for the Lady Tigers, her second of the tournament, by limiting Houston to five runs, all unearned, on seven hits and five walks while striking out 11 batters.
Pilot Grove also had 14 hits in the game, with Schlotzhauer going 4-for-4 with two singles, one double, one triple and two RBIs.
Reagan Walker was 2-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI while Kayla Poulsen added two singles and two RBIs, Cynthia Brumback with two singles and one RBI, McKalie Lorenz with one double and one RBI and Marissa Day, Katelyn Renfro and Celine Dodson each with a RBI-single.
Chipps took the loss for Houston by giving up 12 runs, nine earned, on 14 hits and three walks while striking out two.
Walker led the hitting attack in the game for Houston with a single and a triple. Swindell and Clease also had two hits in the game.