Poplar Bluff, Missouri -- The 2018 season came to an end for the 14th-rated Indian Hills Warriors after they dropped two games to Three Rivers College in the District J tournament on Saturday. Three Rivers eked out a 3-2 win in the first game of the best-of-three series, then came from behind to take the next contest, 7-5, and qualify for the school's first-ever national tourney appearance.
A solo home run by Kristyn Carpenter was the deciding blow in the opener. Carpenter's shot snapped a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 6th inning. Three Rivers jumped out to a 2-0 lead before IHCC tied things up. A Taylor Jones popup that fell behind second base scored Vanessa Bakley for the Warriors' first run in the 3rd inning. Indian Hills got the equalizer when Abby Straight reached on an error and three straight Warriors then drew a walk, the final one to Taylor Takushi that knotted the score.
After Three Rivers tallied the first run of game two, Indian Hills went on top, 4-1. In the 2nd inning, Jaylie Reints worked a leadoff walk and came home on a wild pitch. The following inning, Erin Kuba singled home a run for her team-best 59th RBI of the season. Lexi Smith slammed a two-run homer after Kuba's hit to give IHCC a three-run lead. Smith's blast was her 13th of the spring, tying Kuba and Cheyanne Bergert for the team lead.
The Raiders got two runs back in the 4th before Taylor DuBois and Bergert executed a double steal for an Indian Hills run and a 5-3 advantage. TRCC made it 5-5 with a pair of 5th inning runs, then Carpenter doubled home the go-ahead run in the 6th and the Raiders added an insurance score in the 7th.
The Warriors' season came to a close with a 46-12 record. It was the final game for eight sophomores -- Taylor Takushi, Abby Straight, Cheyanne Bergert, Erin Kuba, Taylor Jones, Olivia Goodale, Lexi Smith and Alexis Vroegh -- and for head coach Laura North, who had announced her plans to step down earlier in the season.