Pilot Grove junior Mel Wolfe wasn’t sure at first about using Emily Schupp’s bat in the fifth inning Friday against Chaffee in a Class 1 semifinal game at Killian Sports Complex in Springfield.
But after hitting a two-run home run over the left field fence to make it a 4-0 ballgame, Wolfe said she was just looking to get a hit and get on base.
As it turned out, Wolfe’s home run keyed a three-run fifth inning to lead Pilot Grove past Chaffee by a score of 4-1.
“Honestly, I was just looking to get on base and it just kind of went out,” Wolfe said. “I was really excited that I brought our score up from two.”
Junior pitcher Samarah Bailey also did her part in the circle again for the Lady Tigers. While entering the game at 18-3 on the season, Bailey once again stymied the opponent by giving up just one run on three hits while striking out 12 batters.
Bailey said she pitched to Chaffee like they were any other team.
“I have confidence in the girls behind me so I am able to just throw the ball,” Bailey said. “I also have my catcher that can catch the ball for me, who I know always has my back. But everything felt great today. The entire team was pumped and we were ready so it was a good game.”
Chaffee probably didn’t think that way, as they left  left three runners on base  and scored just one run in the sixth.
Needless to say, the Lady Tigers again jumped out early with one run in the bottom-half of the first on a lead-off walk by Reagan Walker and a RBI-single to left by Bailey to make it 1-0.
Pilot Grove never trailed after that while adding three more runs in the fifth on a walk to Walker and a RBI-single again to left center by Bailey to make it 2-0. Wolfe then hit her team-leading seventh home run of the season over the left field fence to extend the lead to 4-0.
Pilot Grove coach Neal Bailey said Wolfe’s home run was big. “We’ll take that because they comeback and got that one run in the fifth,” Bailey said. “We were already up 2-1 but still it’s always nice to get runs. Actually this was a pretty good game for us. I thought we played well and the girls had the right mind set through the entire game. They were relaxed but yet they were focused and they made some great defensive plays and had great pitching and timely hitting.”
Of course there were a few tense moments such as the one run by Chaffee in the sixth on the RBI-single to center by Sydney Walker to make it 4-1.
Chaffee also had runners on base in the second after a lead-off single to center by Carlie Milz and again in the fifth after a double to left center by Madeline Hendrix. But each time, Bailey with strikeouts to end the inning.
As for Pilot Grove, they had runners on in every inning with one hit and one walk in the first. Abby Schupp also reached in the second with a bloop single just inside the line at third. Then, after leaving two on in the third, the Lady Tigers wasted a lead off walk by Sasha Moore in the fourth.
Pilot Grove would send seven batters to the plate in the fifth with three runs on three hits and one walk. Then, in the sixth, the Lady Tigers again put the ball in play with two hits.
Pilot Grove finished the game with four runs on eight hits and one error while Chaffee had one run on just three hits.
Samarah Bailey went 2-for-4 in the game with a single, double and two RBIs while Abby Schupp and Walker added two singles each, Wolfe with a home run and two RBIs and Emily Schupp and Moore each with one single.
Hendrix had a double for Chaffee’s only extra base hit in the game.