MANHATTAN — The Bears came through when they needed to. The Monarchs just couldn’t find the hit.

That was the big difference as the Thomas More Prep-Marian softball team dropped a 4-1 decision to Oskaloosa on Thursday at Twin Oaks Complex.

“They found the hole when they needed to and capitalized twice on that — and we didn’t,” TMP coach Melissa Schoepf said. “But we didn’t go out striking out.

“We put the ball in play and that’s what we told them we had to do.”

Unfortunately for TMP, it just wasn’t enough. The Monarchs, who had a 1-0 lead on a Bears error in the second inning, left seven baserunners stranded, leaving them loaded in the third with the 1-0 lead.

Oskaloosa then capitalized on TMP’s lone error in the fourth, and seized momentum in the fifth with a two-out triple off TMP starter Bailey Lacy. The blast gave the Bears a lead they didn’t relinquish.

“A couple of hits cost us, but that’s how softball goes,” Schoepf said.

Lacy pitched the complete game, one of four seniors in their final game in a Monarch uniform. TMP ended its season at 18-6, making its third straight trip to the 3A state tourney.

“There’s no reason to walk out of here with their heads hanging down,” Schoepf said. “They played solid ball all the way through.”

Oskaloosa advances to face Haven in Friday’s 11 a.m. semifinal.