Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – At some point over the past few weeks it finally sunk in for Taylor Moore that her softball career was coming to a close.
Sometime this month the Solon senior shortstop will walk off the diamond one final time.
Moore made sure her final game wasn’t going to come on Wednesday.
The senior drove in three runs with a pair of singles to help Class 3A No. 11 Solon pull away for a 9-1 win over Mid-Prairie (9-21) in a Region 5 quarterfinal in Solon.
“I know it’s going to end and that has helped me step my game up more because I know any game could be my last,” Moore said. “Putting it all on the field is what I am trying to do for my team right now.”
Moore was a starter on the last Solon state tournament squad back in 2016.
In her final go around on the diamond Moore would like nothing more than a return trip to Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge.
She did her part to move Solon (22-15) closer to a state tournament berth on Wednesday with run-scoring singles in the third and sixth innings.
Solon will host WAMAC rival Benton Community (15-22) in a Region 5 semifinal on Friday at 7 p.m.
“That would mean the world to me, that’s our biggest goal,” Moore said of a state tournament return. “Our three seniors we want to carry the team there because we know we have the capability of making it there.”
Moore had plenty of help on Wednesday with much of it coming from her fellow seniors.
Skyler Stookey slammed a two-run home run and Taylor Ryan drove in a run in a five-run Spartan fourth inning that broke open a 2-0 game.
“We’ve been talking about fighting for another day together because we all love coming in every morning and get better,” Stookey said. “To be able to win this one, come back tomorrow and get two more days together it’s just such a good feeling.”
Solon took a 1-0 lead in the second when Ava Stebral drew a one-out walk and scored two batters later on an RBI infield single by Kayla West.
Moore made it 2-0 in the second when she lined a single that scored eighth-grader Hilary Wilson who had doubles.
“I’m trying to make it for the team,” Moore said. “Just putting myself out there for the team is my biggest concern because I want this group to go as far as I can because I believe we have a great team right now.”
Solon broke the game wide open in the fourth.
Sarah Heick had a two-run triple that made it 5-0 and two batters later Stookey blasted her team-leading 14th home run, a no-doubter to left field, to put the Spartans up 7-0.
“We have a left-handed pitcher on staff so we worked on that and we expected it,” Stookey said. “The first couple of innings we were hitting the ball but as the game went on we got those timely hits and that was nice.”
Solon’s three senior starters combined to drive in six of the runs for Spartans.
“They don’t want to be done,” Solon coach Erin White said. “They are so close with the younger kids that I think the feeling of not getting the opportunity to keep playing together is making them want to keep playing.”
It was more than enough support for West who struck out eight in the complete game win.
West allowed one run while scattering seven hits.
“We’ve been working for five years now and the past couple of years have been rough, we haven’t quite made it to where we want to be,” Stookey said. “This is a very special group, I think we have something very special going for us.”
Mid-Prairie 000 010 0 – 1 7 2
Solon 011 502 x – 9 13 0
W – Kayla West L – Cassidy Rourke
2B – SOL: Hilary Wilson, Elyse Rios
3B – SOL: Sarah Heick
3B – SOL: Skyler Stookey
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