Diamond logs walkoff win in pitchers duel with College Heights

May 2—NEOSHO, Mo. — The Diamond Wildcats softball team got all it could handle and more from the College Heights/McAuley Cougars on Wednesday, but ultimately prevailed 2-1 on an extra-innings walk-off single by Grace Frazier in the bottom of the tenth inning.

In a classic pitchers' duel, Diamond's Caitlyn Suhrie struck out 21 batters and College Heights starter Maddy Colin fanned 10.

The game, which was moved to Neosho because of wet field conditions in Diamond, marked the final regular season game for both teams and a chance for the Wildcats to get back on the winning track after suffering their only loss of the season on Monday against Frontenac, Kansas.

Diamond (32-1) — the 10th ranked team in the nation and No. 1 in Missouri — got on the board first when Suhrie scored on a throwing error in the bottom of the first inning.

From there, both pitchers took control of the game.

The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Wildcats until the top of the seventh inning, when College Heights' Isabella Gilligan smacked a single to right field that plated Teagan Martinez.

The score remained tied at 1-1 until the bottom of the 10th, when Frazier connected for a line drive to center field, sending Kabrie Parmley across the plate and the Wildcats home with a win.

Suhrie gave up three hits and one run while striking out 21 and walking one in the complete-game win.

"I was basically just doing my job as a pitcher," Suhrie said. "I did my best to throw strikes consistently all 10 innings. I knew my team had my back, so I just had to concentrate on doing my job."

Colin allowed two runs on seven hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 10 innings of work in her third game in as many days.

Diamond head coach Kelsey Lauren Parrish said of the two starters: "They were both great in the circle and worked the zone to their advantage and did an awesome job.

Diamonds' Lauren Turner was the only player in the game to log multiple hits. She finished 2 for 3 with an RBI.

Allie Stout and Avery Shuemaker led the Cougars, finishing 1 for 3 at the plate.

The close game against the No. 1 team in the state will help the Cougars heading into postseason play.

"Considering how our season is going, I think it gives us a lot of confidence in each other and in our defense," Colin said. "We love playing together and we have all season."

She also talked about playing against her friends and former teammates.

"They are amazing," Colin said of Diamond. "I grew up playing travel ball with a lot of them, so I know they are awesome. I love pitching against them."

Mike Howard, head coach of the College Heights/McAuley team (7-14), said: "We came out here and just wanted to compete. .... I told them before the game to stay loose and just go out there and have fun. If Maddy pitches well and (the team) plays good defense behind her, we can compete with anyone."

Howard also praised Colin.

"Maddy's starting to find her groove now after coming back from a broken thumb earlier in the year. She really did a great job of keeping us in the game," he said. "We came to play today and I think if we can play like this day in and day out, we can compete with anybody."

He added: "I told them they took a 31-win team to 10 innings, and that if that doesn't give them motivation heading into districts, I don't know what will."

Diamond enters the postseason as the No. 1 seed and College Heights is the No. 6 seed.