The Moundridge softball team scored early and often, putting up 10 runs in the first inning to dominate Canton-Galva 16-4.

MOUNDRIDGE — The Moundridge softball team scored early and often, putting up 10 runs in the first inning to dominate Canton-Galva and earn a bid to the State championships next week in Pratt. The Wildcats will be making just their third trip in school history to the finals and the second for this group of seniors.

The Eagles struck first in this game, scoring a run in the top of the first inning to take an early lead. As quickly as they got the lead, they lost it, as the Wildcats used timely hitting and took advantage of walks and errors to storm to a 10-1 lead after the first inning. From there the Cats never looked back.

"We came out swinging in that first inning," said Moundridge coach Aaron Annis. "We played so well as a team."

Jadah Moore was her typical steady self on the hill for Moundridge, pitching a solid five innings, giving up five hits and four runs, striking out three and walking three. Being spotted 10 runs by her offense in the first inning certainly made things easier the rest of the way for Moore.

Leading Moundridge at the plate was Chelsey Knight who went 2 for 2 with four runs scored and three RBIs. Moore also helped herself with a 2 for 3 performance and three RBIs. Only two other Wildcats, Keira and Zizi Sebrant, picked up hits but Moundridge capitalized on 11 walks and two hit batsman to end the game after four and a half innings on the run rule.

Taylor Everett was the only Eagle with multiple hits, picking up two of the team's four, scoring a run and getting a RBI. Jayci Mastre, Taryn Nordstrom, and Ashton Brewer had a hit apiece, with Mastre picking up a RBI as well. Everett and Brewer had a combined effort on the mound, giving up just six hits while striking out seven in four innings of play.

"We were just focused throughout the game and I could see it in our girls eyes that they wanted it more than anything," Annis said. " I'm so proud of how much this team has worked to get to where they are now. Jadah Moore had a great day on the mound for us, she pitched so well. And her defense was behind her the whole game. We will celebrate tonight but we know that we need to buckle down and get back to work for state next week. Top eight teams in 2-1A will meet in Pratt and we need to be ready to go."

Moundridge will now travel to Pratt for the State championship tournament that begins next Thursday at Pratt-Green Sports Complex. No times or seeding information had been released at press time but it appears there is a high likelihood that Moundridge will face Leon-Bluestem in the opening round.

Contact Matt Cole by email at mcole@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @MacSentinel.