The Daniel Boone Little League All-Stars competed in the Little League Softball Central Regional Tournament in Carthage. They finished pool play on Tuesday, going 2-2, but did not advance to the semifinals.
The all-star team advanced to regional play after winning the Missouri state softball tournament on July 28. They were the first Daniel Boone Little League softball team from the 11- to 12-year-old age division to win state and advance to the regional.
Despite the early exit, head coach Kerry McDonald said he was pleased with his team’s showing in the regional.
“We knew we’d have a pretty decent team, but we didn’t really know what to expect,” he said. “Our team had only practiced together for about three weeks before the state tournament. Most of the teams we faced had been playing together for a long time. I wasn’t sure if we’d even win a game.”
The team started the tournament with an 11-1 win against a team from Minnesota. They then lost to a Kentucky team, 5-3, after giving up a lead late in the game. After a loss to an Indiana team, they finished strong with an 8-5 come-from-behind win versus an Iowa team that had been to the regional tournament in the past.
Playing against good teams from other states gave the girls some valuable experience.
“We have very few girls that play in tournaments,” McDonald said. “They saw a level of play that they’ve never seen before, especially pitching. Our girls threw strikes but didn’t throw as hard as the pitchers we faced. We had to play good defense and rely on coming together and scraping some runs together on offense.”
Team members included Mary Cleek, Emma Drake, Rachel Foley, Lexi Heim, Rhylie Kinder, Kelly McDonald, Cindy Menk, Kelsey Mirts, Rachel Nielsen, Hannah Paten, Kaley Sommer and Helen Trice. The team was coached by Kerry McDonald and Luke Heim.