Now the team from Gray can say it won a game on the international stage.
Having dropped its first two pool-play contests, Boone came back on Friday and produced a minimal scoring output. That, however, was enough to give the United States’ Southeast representative a 1-0 triumph over Pennsylvania-based Kirkland, Tunkhannock (East).
“We finally showed up tonight, being the Boone team we usually are,” said coach Lori Jenkins. “I told them before the game, we’re not Southeast, we’re Boone. We’re Gray, Tennessee. Let’s be Boone today, and play Boone ball.”
The victory gave Boone an inside track to a berth in the championship tournament. If Boone wins Sunday against Northwest Czech Republic, it will lock up a spot. The Czech team is 0-2 and has been outscored 32-0.
On Friday, Kayleigh Musser hurled a three-hit shutout to outduel Kaya Hannon, who pitched a two-hitter.
“(Musser’s) arm was a little tight, and she had to get a massage after the game,” Jenkins said. “She pitched a great game, and her defense played behind her. Ava Saul made some big plays at third, Josie (Jenkins) made some plays and Kyleigh Bacon turned a double play in the last inning to help seal the game.”
One of Boone’s hits, a two-out Jenkins single, scored Adriawna Kuykendall from second base in the bottom of the third inning.
“She has really stepped up at the plate,” Lori Jenkins said of her daughter. “She has Jenkins blood in her and Sanders blood, and she played the game of her life.”
Kuykendall had walked before moving into scoring position when Riley Croley was hit by a pitch. Croley accounted for Boone’s other hit in a 1-for-1 effort.
Kirkland’s best chance to score came in the second when it loaded the bases with two away. The opportunity went astray when Saul fielded an Elaina Kulsicavage grounder and recorded a forceout at third base.
Boone also extinguished scoring threats in the first, fourth and fifth frames.
Sunday’s game with Northwest Czech Republic is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.