Playing in district semifinals tonight at Odessa
You didn't have to tell the Boonville Lady Pirates softball team or the New Franklin Bulldogs that Tuesday's game at Rolling Hills park had little meaning.
With the district tournament set to begin this week, nothing would mean more than to win the regular-season finale and go in with a little momentum.
As it turned out, Boonville wound up winning the regular-season finale against New Franklin by a score of 10-0.
The Lady Pirates, who improved to 15-10 on the season, will now direct their attention to the semifinal round of the district tournament Thursday in Odessa against either the winner of Odessa or O'Hara starting at 6:30 p.m. As for New Franklin, they will play the winner of Bunceton-Otterville in the semifinal round on Thursday in Pilot Grove starting at 5.
As for the game last night, Boonville assistant coach Stacey Bishop said the seniors couldn't have picked a better night to lead the hitting back. "Together they had 10 of our 14 hits," Bishop said. "Michelle came out stronger and more determined than I've seen her all season. Her ball was really moving and she had fire in her eyes that on one was going to stop her tonight. This was a complete victory. The seniors stepped it up a notch and have been a part of our softball family and will be greatly missed. If we play at districts like we did tonight, we will be unstoppable. This is an excellent way to end the regular season."
After a scoreless first inning, the Lady Pirates finally got on the board in the bottom-half of the second after three straight singles by Michelle Surratt, Courtney Lampson and Madison Lester.
Meanwhile, after holding New Franklin scoreless for a third straight inning, Boonville came back and added four more runs in the bottom-half of the inning on three consecutive singles by Emily Gerhardt, McKenna McAreavy and Michelle Surratt and a RBI-double to center by Courtney Lampson to make it 4-0. Madison Lester then laced a single to left center to keep the inning go. Then, to closeout a four-run third inning, senior Lauren Friedrich ripped a single up the middle for another run to extend the lead to 5-0.
As for New Franklin, they struggled offensively for the entire night while managing just one hit off of freshman pitcher Michelle Surratt. Although the Lady Bulldogs had runners reach base either by a walk or error, they struggled to move the runners over against Boonville.
Boonville, meanwhile, tacked on two more runs in the fourth when Havyn Monteer led off with a walk and scored when Addy Reardon reached on an error. Then, to make it 7-0, Gerhardt drove a pitch by New Franklin pitcher Kalani Pihana to left for a double.
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Gerhardt also had the key hit in the fifth with a three-RBI double to left to help the Lady Pirates win by the 10-run rule.
Michelle Surratt picked up the win on the mound for Boonville while Megan Phillips took the loss for New Franklin, who dropped to 14-10 on the season.
Surratt, who has been bothered by a sore arm, struck out eight batters and gave up one hit and one walk in five innings. Phillips, meanwhile, pitched the first-three innings and allowed five runs on nine hits. Pihana then came in and pitched two innings in relief and surrendered five runs on five hits and one walk.
Boonville also out-hit New Franklin 14-1, with Emily Gerhardt going 3-for-4 with a single and two doubles.
Courtney Lampson was 2-for-3 with a single and a double while Michelle Surratt, Madison Lester and Lauren Friedrich added two singles each and Havyn Monteer, McKenna McAreavy and Addy Reardon with one single each.
Kalani Pihana had the only hit in the game for New Franklin, being a single.
New Franklin coach Ross Dowell said his team is really not playing very well for this late in the season. "We have a lot of people hurt and have not gotten enough reps hitting-wise playing five out of the last seven nights," Dowell said. "We must get a lot of work in one day before playing in districts."
Boonville also won the JV game over New Franklin by a score of 13-2.
The Lady Pirates, who finished the season at 9-7 overall, led New Franklin 5-0 after one, 7-0 after two and 8-0 after three. Meanwhile, after New Franklin plated two runs in the top-half of the fourth, Boonville came back and added five more in the bottom-half of the inning for the victory.
Bishop said this group of girls is truly talented. "They have much experience beneath their belts," Bishop said. "Any coach would be proud to be part of this team. I am so very proud of them and excited for what the future holds."
Havyn Monteer was the winning pitcher in the game for Boonville while Claire Monnig took the loss for New Franklin. Monteer pitched the first-three innings and struck out six batters while giving up three walks. Millie Moyer then came in and pitched two innings and issued two runs on one hit and two walks while striking out three batters.
For New Franklin, Monnig pitched four innings and surrendered 13 runs, eight earned, on 11 hits while striking out two.
Moyer had one single and two triples to lead Boonville. Amanda Hampton finished the game with a double and a triple while Monteer added a single and a double, Cali Jo McAreavy with two singles, Miranda Northern with one double and Taylor Ellebracht with one single.