MACKS CREEK -- The North Callaway Ladybirds played their first three games in the 2023 Take the Lake Tournament, going 2-1 Friday at Ballparks National.
Class 2 North Callaway lost 5-3 to the Class 4 Marshfield Lady Jays before beating the Class 5 Timberland Lady Wolves 7-6 in its final pool play game. The Ladybirds took second in their purple pool and played another second-place purple pool team, the Class 4 McDonald County Mustangs, winning the contest 14-3 in five innings.
Beginning with the Marshfield game, North Callaway scored three runs on two hits and committed two errors, while the Lady Jays plated five runs on nine hits and made one error.
The Ladybirds took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Corynne Miller scored on a bases-loaded walk, and Meagan Schmidt advanced home on a fielder's choice to the second baseman.
Marshfield plated all five of its runs in the fifth inning, with Sophia Hall hitting a three-RBI bases-clearing double to center field, Taryn Mohn smacking an RBI single to right field and Camryn Elliott drilling an RBI single to left field.
Abigail Schmidt's RBI sacrifice fly to right field in the seventh inning was too little, too late for North Callaway, as it couldn't keep the inning going and lost by two runs.
At the plate, the Lady Jays' Elliot recorded a game-high three hits (two singles and a double), and Hall had a game-high three RBI.
Kendyl Dolan earned the complete-game victory for Marshfield, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and two walks while striking out seven in seven innings.
Starter Lauren Speight took the loss for the Ladybirds, giving up five runs (no earned runs) on six hits and a walk while punching out one in 4⅔ innings.
Ending pool play with a win, North Callaway recorded seven runs on seven hits and committed one error, and Timberland notched six runs on 12 hits and had no errors.
The Lady Wolves took the lead in the bottom of the first inning when Paityn Slezak scored on an error by the center fielder.
During the next frame, the Ladybirds went up 4-1 as Olivia Knoepflein popped an RBI single to right field, Madyson Gordon scored on a bases-loaded walk, Faith Cash reached home on a fielder's choice to the shortstop and Brianna Prosser scored on a bases-loaded walk.
Timberland cut its deficit to two runs in the bottom of the second inning on Audrey Silver's RBI sacrifice fly to right field.
North Callaway scored three runs in the third inning to extend its lead to 7-2: Kendra Pennell lined an RBI single to left field, Miller hit an RBI single to the pitcher and Prosser scored on a bases-loaded walk.
The Lady Wolves made it a four-run game in the fourth inning on Silver's RBI sacrifice fly to right field.
An inning later, Timberland narrowed its deficit to three runs thanks to Riley Walkenhorst's RBI sacrifice fly to center field.
Concluding the scoring and falling a run short of tying it, the Lady Wolves scored two runs in the sixth inning on Ava Kuzara's RBI single to center field and Libby Gauspohl's RBI single to left field.
Knoepflein went the distance and tallied the victory for the Ladybirds, allowing six runs (five earned) on 12 hits and four walks while striking out three.
Playing another second-place team in a purple pool, North Callaway scored 14 runs on 16 hits and made two errors, while McDonald County plated three runs on two hits and had no errors.
The Ladybirds scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning: Kymorie Myers smacked a two-RBI double to right field, Ella Slater drilled an RBI double to left field, Knoepflein lined an RBI single to center field, Lia Bondurant hit a two-RBI single to left field and Meagan Schmidt smoked a two-RBI triple to center field.
The Mustangs made it a five-run game in the second inning, hitting an RBI single to the shortstop, scoring on an error by the first baseman and scoring on an error by the second baseman.
North Callaway plated six runs in the third inning to conclude the scoring in the contest: Meagan Schmidt lined an RBI double to right field, Bondurant scored on a fielder's choice to the pitcher, Slater hit an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, Abigail Schmidt smacked an RBI single to left field, Cash smacked an RBI double to center field and Knoepflein drilled an RBI base hit to left field.
Speight registered the win for the Ladybirds, allowing two runs (one earned) on no hits and four walks in one inning.
North Callaway's Meagan Schmidt earned her second save this season, giving up one unearned run on two hits and walks while punching out six in four innings.
The Ladybirds will conclude play in the tournament today, facing Tolton (5-4) at 12:30 p.m., with the result determining the placing game for each team.