COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Lady Raiders were faced with a literal fork in the road Tuesday. With a win, they would drive west from Columbia to Kansas City, Kansas, to complete the rest of the Region XVI Tournament, moved mid-schedule because of flooding concerns. With a season-ending loss, they'd drive home to Poplar Bluff, taking the back roads all the way because of road closures.
They went home.
In the semifinals of the loser's bracket, Three Rivers College lost 5-0 Tuesday, ending its season. The Lady Raiders beat North Central College 12-4 earlier in the day in the double-elimination tournament.
Three Rivers (30-26) had three hits against Crowder (50-8) and nobody reached third base. Morgan Ledure was 2 for 3. She was the only Lady Raider to make it to second after advancing on a wild pitch in the first inning.
Courtney Slayton had an infield single to lead off the seventh, but stayed there after two fly outs and a comebacker to the pitcher that ended Three Rivers' season.
"You're going to get one good pitch in an at-bat to hit and we were taking that pitch. We needed to be more aggressive," Three Rivers coach Jeff Null said. "We just took too long to make that adjustment."
"I didn't see that she had that much movement or anything that should have given us that much trouble. We looked like a completely different team offenisvely. She did a good job of not making too many mistakes," Null said of Crowder pitcher Maddie Massanelli.
Carleigh Burnett (12-10) pitched all seven innings in the loss and gave up six hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
She allowed one hit and four total baserunners after the third inning, but Crowder had already scored five runs.
The Lady Riders broke through with a two-out single followed by a walk in the second inning. Then No. 9 hitter Mason Andrews had a two-run double to right field.
Andrew was thrown out trying for third, giving Burnett the top of the lineup entering the third inning.
Burnett allowed two walks and a single. One run scored on a wild pitch, another on a double steal, and a third on a sacrifice fly.
"We had the confidence to think we could win that game, but sometimes you just get beat by a better team," Null said.
Against North Central (31-27), Randi Scruggs scored four times and finished 3 for 4 with a triple. Ledure, batting behind Scruggs in the lineup, drove in four runs and also had three hits.
Morris, batting behind Ledure, added three more RBIs.
The trio finished with eight of the team's nine RBIs, seven hits and six runs.
"We were able to be very aggressive on the bases, and of course the top and the bottom is our speed on the team. We hit and run a couple of times and were successful with that," Null said.
Helped along by six North Central errors, Three Rivers scored in all but one inning. Lowry brought the run rule into play when she singled in the top of the sixth.
Rogers singled to center to put Lowry on third, and both took off on a double steal. Rogers was caught, but Lowry scored.
Lowry (15-11) pitched five innings in the win and allowed seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
"Wiley threw great. She had a chance for a shutout if we make routine plays," Null said.
After the Lady Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the first six Lady Pirates reached base but didn't score.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Lowry threw a grounder home for the first out, and Slayton, at shortstop, did the same for the second.
With the bases still loaded, Lowry got another grounder and threw to first to escape. Lowry retired the side in the fourth and faced a runner in scoring position in every other inning. Burnett got two strikeouts and retired the side in the sixth.
Both teams left eight on base.