The victory was the seventh in a row for the Lady Greyhounds, who improved to 13-2 overall and 9-1 in the subregion.
“This is a really good win for us,” Pope coach Chris Turco said. “It keeps us in first place in our subregion. If we manage to win one of our next two games, we clinch first in our subregion. There are some big games coming up, and we’ll try to play hard and see what happens.”
Neither team could get anything going in the first two innings, but that all changed in the third.
Pope struck first for a 2-0 advantage behind a one-out, two-run home run from Reilly. That homer also scored Hannah Lumpp, who singled in the inning and batted 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in the game.
Kell answered in the top of the fourth with help from two Pope errors.
Katie Blair singled and reached second on an error during Hannah McKinley’s fielder’s choice. Naomi Stuger singled in the next at-bat to load the bases, but Pope starter Marisa Boyette struck out the next batter for the second out of the inning.
But instead of logging the third out, Pope committed another error, allowing Ashley Hendrick to reach first and bringing Blair and McKinley in with the tying runs to knot the game at 2-all.
The Lady Greyhounds pulled away, however, with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the fifth for a 7-2 margin.
Sydney Segers singled in the fourth, but moved to third on a two-base error that allowed Boyette to reach second. Ellie Viland’s sacrifice bunt scored Segers and Lump’s single plated pinch-runner Megan Metzinger for the 4-2 lead.
After Reilly led off the fifth with her second homer, Kendall Hahn singled and moved to third on Rachel Dennis’ single. Laura Bell then doubled home both runners to lift the margin to 7-2.
“Jenna, in the leadoff spot, hit two bombs here (Tuesday) that were huge,” Turco said. “She’s been one of our better hitters all year, but without that kind of power. That’s big-time for us, and we’ll take it.”
Kell put two more runs on the board in the sixth behind three hits and an error.
Blair doubled to lead off the inning and McKinley walked. Stuger singled, but an outfield error allowed Blair to score and moved McKinley to third. Sierra Shipley’s one-out RBI single plated McKinley, but that’s all the Lady Longhorns could get as a strikeout and groundout end the threat.
Boyette went the distance, allowing four runs — one earned — on seven hits. She struck out seven.
“We’ve been working on trying to be aggressive at the plate, and the girls came out and did a really nice job,” Turco said. “We got contributions up and down the lineup. Marisa did well in the circle. She kicked the ball around a little bit, but kept the game close. Overall, we’re pretty pleased with the effort here (Tuesday).”
Blair batted 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored to pace Kell. Stuger was 2-for-3. McKinley scored twice.
Lady Longhorns pitcher Sara Howard gave up seven runs — six earned — on 10 hits and struck out three in a complete game.
“(Reilly) is definitely a threat,” Kell coach Lindsay Faber said. “She has the ability to slap, to bunt, to obviously hit with power. She’s tough to defend. She broke things open for them.
“We came back and were able to tie it up, but after that inning when we got our two runs, our bats fell flat, and their pitcher was definitely hitting her spots. They were seeing the ball well, and we just couldn’t quite get that pitcher.”