The Boonville Lady Pirates softball team stood on the brink of knocking off the tournament’s No. 1 seed Saturday during the Versailles Softball Invitational.
After beating the host team 19-2 in the opening round and Osage 8-4 in the semifinals, the Lady Pirates also led top-seeded Dixon by a score of 2-0 after 3 1/2 in the championship game. Unfortunately for Boonville, the Lady Bulldogs scored the next three runs with two in the fourth to tie and one in the eighth for a 3-2 win.
While finishing second in the tournament with a record of 2-1 and improving to 9-9 on the season, head coach Christie Zoeller said this was a great tournament for the Lady Pirates overall.
“I feel like what we went out and did today shows that we can play with anyone,” Zoeller said. “We saw a lot of good head to head competition and we stayed strong through the entire game. Our hitters did a good job at the plate and showed discipline when it was needed. What was really good to see today was my pitching really coming together. I know that we have all the parts we need to be successful and today I finally saw it all come together. I hope that we can take the confidence we gained today and use it to fuel our fire as we head into the last two weeks of the season. I really do feel like we proved to ourselves today that we can play with anyone if we believe in ourselves.”
In the opening game against Versailles, the Lady Pirates left little doubt while exploding for 11 runs in the first and two again in the second.
In that game, Zoeller said the girls showed a lot of patience at t5he plate. “We got ahead early and got to a get a lot of girls into the game,” Zoeller said. “Alexis Albin also saw her first inning pitched at the varsity level, and then Jamie Lemmons hit a monster of a hit with a home run to deep center.”
Logan Root picked up the win in the circle for Boonville by giving up just one hit and one walk in two innings. She also struck out two batters.
Boonville also out-hit Versailles 7-2 while playing three innings, with Kyla Johnson going 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple and three RBIs. Lemmons was 1-for-1 with a home run and three RBIs while Bryanna Jones added a double and two RBIs, Lydia Morris with one double and one RBI, Josie Robb with one single, Leigha Vollmer with three RBIs and Camryn Monteer with two RBIs.
In the second game against Osage, the Lady Pirates had their work cut off for them while playing to a 4-4 tie through 3 1/2 innings. However, after adding one run in the bottom-half of the fourth, Boonville came back and tacked on three more in the fifth for the victory.
Zoeller said this was a well played and hard fought game. “Peyton Kempf stayed composed on the mound and we saw exceptional defense behind her,” Zoeller said. “We also hit the ball very well and were able to string hits together at the right time.”
Kempf pitched all six innings for Boonville and gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out four batters.
Boonville also out-hit Osage 8-7, with Bryanna Jones going 3-for-3 with three singles and two RBIs. Zoe Coffelt was 1-for-2 with a double and one RBI while Leigha Vollmer also doubled. Lemmons had one single and two RBIs while Johnson added one single and one RBI, Robb and Hailey Polk each with one single and Kempf with one RBI.
In the championship game, the Lady Pirates started well enough with one run in each of the third and fourth innings to go up 2-0. However it was all Dixon after that with two in the fourth and one again in the eighth for the victory.
Zoeller said Dixon was a very tough team.
“Their pitcher threw that ball hard and well,” Zoeller said. “I am very proud of the was that we came out and played in this game. We had great defense behind our pitcher in this game. In my opinion, Peyton threw her best game of the season in this championship game. She did a great job mixing her pitches up and keeping their good hitters off balance. We saw 8 strong innings in this game from our pitching and fielders. We would have liked to win this game but even with the loss I think a confidence sparked in us during this game that we have been needing.”
Kempf took the loss in the circle for Boonville by giving up three runs on eight hits and just one walk while striking out two batters.
As for the hitting in the game for Boonville, Camryn Monteer went 3-for-4 with three singles. Kyla Johnson doubled while Bryanna Jones singled.
Dixon out-hit Boonville 8-5 but also committed three errors in the game.