The Boonville Lady Pirates softball team may have finished second in the Class 3 District 14 Tournament last week in Oak Grove, but that still didn’t stop the coaches from selecting nine players either to the first or second team.
While finishing 17-8 on the season, the Lady Pirates had their season cut short in the championship game in the district tournament against the Odessa Bulldogs by a score of 10-9.
Boonville Lady Pirates softball coach Christie Zoeller said as she went into the district selection meeting Friday night it was great to hear all of the good things the other coaches had to say about the team.
“They were very complimentary of the girls and their will to never give up and really come out and perform at the plate,” Zoeller said. “I feel that it is a combination of our powerful bats and will to never give up that we were able to land nine players on the all-district team.”
Of the nine players selected all-district, five were named to the first team. Heading the first team for the Lady Pirates were: Courtney Timm, infielder; Addy Reardon, outfielder; Havyn Monteer, outfielder; Olivia Imhoff, catcher; and Michelle Surratt, pitcher.
Second team selections were: Taylor Ellebracht, infielder; Miranda Northern, infielder; Millie Moyer, infielder; and Kiley Barnes, pitcher.
The Lady Pirates also came close to climbing up the ladder in the North Central Missouri Conference. With the Kirksville Tigers winning the conference this season at 10-2, Mexico finished second at 9-3, Fulton third at 8-4, Boonville fourth at 7-5, Moberly fifth at 5-6, Marshall sixth at 1-10 and Hannibal seventh at 1-11.
Although Mexico swept Boonville this season, the Lady Pirates knocked off Kirksville in the regular-season finale 3-2 while splitting games against the Fulton Hornets.
Zoeller said the girls played hard in all of their conference games. “It was exciting to beat Kirksville because they are such a good team,” Zoeller said. “We would have liked to have finished better than 7-5 but overall we did well. We have a tough conference and I think those games, win or lose, only made us stronger.”
As for the season, Zoeller said it provided a lot of growth for the young players. She said they were able to accomplish many things and reach many goals they had set for themselves.
“We had some big wins this year against Kirksville and Helias,” Zoeller said. “These are two very tough programs and we were very excited to get the wins in both of those games. We also broke the school record for the high team batting average. The old record was one we broke last year by batting .350 as a team. This season we broke the record once again with a team batting average of .354. I am very proud of the way our bats performed this season. We had great hitters from the top to bottom of our order and we were able to hang in and win some big games because of that this year. Overall, this was a great season and as we look to the future we hold a whole lot of promise for what is to come.”
The Lady Pirates definitely have the bulk of their lineup returning this season. Of the 10 players that saw ample playing time this season, nine return for Boonville.
Four of those players returning were also selected as position players in the NCMC in juniors Addy Reardon and Olivia Imhoff and sophomores Havyn Monteer and Taylor Ellebracht.
Of course nobody had a higher batting average than Reardon. A three-year starter for the Lady Pirates, Reardon led the team in hitting for the third year in a row while batting .539 with 41 hits in 76 at-bats. She also had a team-leading 10 doubles and tied for the team-high in home runs with Havyn Monteer with three and RBIs with 21 with Olivia Imhoff, Taylor Ellebracht and Miranda Northern.
Zoeller said Reardon was very consistent at the plate and was able to drive in a lot of runs. “We were also able to do a lot with her speed on the bases,” Zoeller said. “I am most proud of Addy for the way she stepped up in the outfield this year. She worked very hard at improving and making herself a strong defensive player.”
Imhoff has also been a rock behind the plate this season for the Lady Pirates. While playing both outfield and catcher last season, Imhoff started all 25 games behind the plate this year and finished second only to Reardon in hitting with a .468 clip. She also had 36 hits in 77 at-bats with 28 singles, six doubles, two triples and a team-leading 18 stolen bases.
Zoeller said Imhoff has really stepped up this year and done a great job with the young pitchers. “She is very smart back there and really takes control of the infield,” Zoeller said. “She has had some huge plays for us throwing out runners. She has also been great offensively. She worked very hard the past two years to improve her batting and because of that is one of our leading hitters and RBI leaders.”
Monteer also made the switch from shortstop to center field this season and didn’t miss a beat while hitting .463 with 37 hits in 80 at-bats with 19 singles, nine doubles, six triples, three home runs and 17 RBIs.
Zoeller said Monteer is probably one of the hardest workers on the team. “Her speed is one of her most powerful weapons,” Zoeller said. “She covers a ton of ground in the outfield and always gives all she’s got. She has been very effective as our lead off this year and we are able to do so much with her speed on the base path. She also packs a ton of power at the plate and can really surprise our opponents when she swings the bat.”
Of course nobody improved more than sophomore Courtney Timm, who played both the outfield and second base position this season. Although Timm batted only 53 times this season, she still made the most of the opportunity while hitting .377 with 13 singles, four doubles, two triples, one home run and 14 RBIs.
Zoeller said Timm is an amazing outfielder and because of this she overlooked her at the beginning of the season as an infielder.
“After a couple of weeks of games she really stepped up for us when she moved to the dirt,” Zoeller said. “she has been a solid second baseman and has been key to many double plays we’ve turned this year. She has also stepped up big at the plate. She has gotten many key hits for us in clutch situations. She is a very hard worker and always tries her best no matter what we ask of her.”
Surratt also developed into a solid player this season not only as a pitcher but also a hitter for the Lady Pirates.
While batting .327 for the season, Surratt had 17 hits in 52 at-bats with 14 singles, two doubles, one triple and 11 RBIs. Meanwhile, as the No. 1 pitcher, the right-handed hurler finished 11-5 with an ERA of 3.32. In 78 innings, Surratt gave up 56 runs, 37 of which were earned, on 88 hits and 25 walks while striking out 52 batters.
Zoeller said Surratt has worked very hard this season at making herself a stronger, more consistent pitcher. “I can tell that she got much stronger as the season went on both mentally and physically and really contributed to our success this year,” Zoeller said. “Not only did she work hard on the mound but she was also a solid bat for us at the plate.”
Taylor Ellebracht also took advantage of her time at first base for the Lady Pirates. While playing mostly on the JV team last year, Ellebracht emerged as a threat offensively while hitting .300 for the season with 18 hits in 60 at-bats with seven singles, six doubles, three triples, two home runs and 21 RBIs.
Zoeller said Ellebracht has done an amazing job at first base this season. “She can dig balls out of the dirt like no one I’ve ever seen before,” Zoeller said. “She just makes it look so easy over there at the corner and she has really helped our infield out this year. Not only has she been nearly flawless defensively, she has swung a big stick for us as well. She’s been our secret weapon this year and has come up big for us.”
Northern also stepped up this season while making the switch from first base to third base. While hitting .268 for the season, Northern also had 19 hits in 71 at-bats with 12 singles, four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 21 RBIs.
Zoeller said Northern has done a great job over at third and handles the hot corner well. “She also packs a ton of power at the plate and has been one of our leading RBI hitters,” Zoeller said.
Barnes also finished the season hitting .268 while switching between second base and pitcher for the Lady Pirates. While finishing with 15 hits in 56 at-bats, Barnes also had 12 singles, one double, two triples and 10 RBIs. Meanwhile, as a pitcher, Barnes finished 6-3 with an ERA of 2.90. In 70 innings pitcher, the freshman hurler gave up 50 runs, 29 earned, on 86 hits while walking 24 and striking out 32.
Zoeller said Barnes did a good job on the mound this season for a freshman. “It was hard to tell that she was a freshman because of the way she handled herself in pressure situations,” Zoeller said. “When things would get tough, Kiley got tougher and you could see the determination on her face. I could see the growth she made this year and am very excited for what she will bring to the program in the future.”
The future is also bright for Moyer, who started all 25 games this season at shortstop. While hitting .203 for the season with 14 hits in 69 at-bats, Moyer also had nine singles, four doubles, one home run and eight RBIs for the Lady Pirates.
Zoeller said handled herself well at shortstop this season. “She has backhand some balls and come up with a throw when it looks like there is no chance to get a runner and she makes the out,” Zoeller said. “She has a cannon of a arm and covers a lot of ground. She also holds a lot of promise for the future.”