Coming into Monday's Class 1 District 10 spring softball opener as the tournament's lowest seed, the Marionville Lady Comets weren't expected to put up much of a fight against top-seeded Purdy.
Marionville had managed to squeak out 10 wins in the regular season, but the Lady Eagles had won twice as many, and they quickly put the eighth-seeded Lady Comets in a hole.
Two innings into the game, it looked as though Marionville might get knocked out prematurely, trailing 6-0 going into the third inning, but coach Mark Estep's team turned it around to give Purdy all it could offer.
A leadoff single by Kaylee Neveln -- Marionville's first baserunner of the game -- got things going for the Lady Comets, and several batters later the team would score on a single by Madylon Davis. Two more singles by Emma Barrickman and Katie Stafford closed the Purdy lead to two runs by the end of the half inning.
The home team would add two more runs to make it 8-4 in the bottom of the third, but the game was far from over.
Neveln again led off with a single in the fourth and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Kelsie Grimm to make it 8-5, but the Lady Comets would get no closer in the inning.
After a scoreless Purdy half, Marionville would deal a shocking blow in the top of the fifth. Davis singled to lead off the inning, followed by a walk and a fielder's choice that saw the leadoff hitter thrown out at the plate. But a single by Hunter Forester would score the Lady Comets' sixth run and bring Neveln to the plate again.
The clutch catcher came up big once again with a three-run homer to right field, giving Marionville the lead over the tournament's top team.
Unfortunately for the Lady Comet faithful, the high would not last long, as Purdy came back for five runs in the following inning to retake the lead for good, tacking on two more in the sixth to cement the victory.
Marionville's season came to an abrupt end, but the game wasn't without its highlights for the underdog team.
Neveln and Davis finished with three hits each to lead the Lady Comets, while Barrickman, Stafford and Forester each added a hit of their own.
Alexus Buckert, in her final start as a Lady Comet, pitched six innings in the loss, allowing eight earned runs and striking out two.
Of the Marionville starting lineup, only Buckert and Davis will be graduating in the coming weeks, leaving many starters to return next season for more varsity experience.