It wasn’t quite the finish Boonville Lady Pirates softball coach Christie Zoeller was looking for Saturday in the annual Lady Pirate Lead Off Classic at Rolling Hills park.
But after finishing fourth overall at 1-2 in the tournament, Zoeller said its very evident that they have a few kinks to work out both offensively and defensively.
“This was definitely a day of ups and downs,” Zoeller said. “I think we were able to overcome a lot of obstacles today, I think we saw very clearly what we need to keep working on, and I think we gained confidence in our fellow teammates and hopefully that is a bind that will only get stronger as we move forward. This team is very young, when I looked at the playing field at one point today we had two returning players from last year out there and the rest of the faces were new to a varsity field. I think we have a lot of promise and talent and we will find a way to put all of the pieces together.”
The Lady Pirates definitely had the pieces for the opening game against Fayette in a No. 3 versus No. 6 matchup.
Although the Lady Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 in the top half of the first, they were no match for Boonville the rest of the way as the Lady Pirates reeled off five unanswered runs for a 5-1 victory.
Boonville got its first two runs in the bottom half of the first on a lead off double to left center by Logan Root and a bunt single by Josie Robb. Sophomore Kourtney Kendrick also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to right. Then, in the third, the Lady Pirates plated three more runs on a solo home run to left center by Alexis Albin, a RBI-double to right center by Daylynn Baker and a RBK-singgle to right by Peyton Kempf.
Kempf also picked up the complete game victory for Boonville by giving up just one run on six hits and three walks. She also struck out four batters.
Boonville also out-hit Fayette 8-6, with Albin going 2-for-3 with a single, home run and two RBIs. Baker, Robb and Root each doubled in the game while Kempf and Hailey Polk singled.
Emma Hoover had the only extra base hit in the game for Fayette, being a double.
Zoeller said the girls started out a little timid but got their nerves under control and played a solid game. “We were able to get out of two-bases loaded innings with out any damage being made,” Zoeller said. “I thought we also did a nice job stringing hits together.”
Facing No. 2 seeded Kirksville in the semifinal round later that afternoon was a tough task for the Lady Pirates, as they fell by a score of 9-1.
While scoring their only run in the top half of the fifth on a wild pitch, Boonville trailed from the start against Kirksville as the Lady Tigers reeled off the games first nine runs.
Kempf took the loss in the circle for Boonville. In two innings pitched, Kempf gave up three runs on four hits while striking out one batter. Kendrick then came in and pitched two innings in relief and allowed six runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one batter.
Kirksville also out-hit Boonville in the game 9-2, with Madi McCarty, Taylor Mckim and Abby Ranson each collecting two hits.
For Boonville, Brianna Jones and Kourtney Kendrick each had one single.
Zoeller said the girls came out absolutely flat and never turned it around against Kirksville. “We had defensive mistakes and just couldn’t hit the ball,” Zoeller said. “I think our minds were not in this game and the heat of the day did not help anything.”
In the third place game against Moberly, the Lady Pirates again struggled out of the gates and as a result wound up losing to the Spartans by a score of 10-5.
“We came out more ready to play but just struggled hitting the ball and moberly did not,” Zoeller said. “They hit the ball hard and just found holes. We finally started hitting late in the game and were able to push five runs across but it was too little, too late.”
Moberly broke the game wide open with an eight run second inning and then tacked on two more in the third to extend the lead to 10-0.
The Lady Pirates, meanwhile, scored three in the fourth and two in the fifth to complete their scoring.
Kempf took the loss for Boonville by giving up five runs on six hits and one walk in one inning. Emma West then came in and pitched four innings in relief and allowed five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four.
Moberly also finished the game with 12 hits, with Tara Ginter going 4-for-4 with two singles, two doubles and two RBIs. Maci Hardwick and Quincy Reynolds each had two hits.
For Boonville, Josie Robb went 2-for-3 with a single and a double. Albin also finished the game with two hits with two singles and one RBI while Brooke Eichelberger added a double and one RBI, Hailey Polk with one single and two RBIs and Kourtney Kendrick with one single and one RBI.
NEW FRANKLIN
The New Franklin Lady Bulldogs softball team finished 0-3 in the Lady Pirate Lead Off Classic Saturday at Boonville High School.
The Lady Bulldogs fell to Eugene 15-0, Wright City 13-5 and Sedalia Smith-Cotton 15-8.
In the opening game against Eugene, the Lady Bulldogs surrendered four runs in the first, six in the third and five in the fourth to suffer the loss.
New Franklin coach Ross Dowell said offensively the stats do not show much but they hit the ball hard and put it in play. “I’m pretty happy with our approach at the plate,” Dowell said. “We had a few errors which led to huge innings. I thought Annie Benner did a great job pitching. It’s a night and day difference from last year at this time. She needs to clean up some walks and we need to clean up some basic plays defensively.”
Benner pitched 3 1/3 innings for the Lady Bulldogs and gave up nine runs on seven hits and seven walks.
Abby Maupin had the only hit in the game for New Franklin, being a double.
In the game against Wright City, Dowell said his team did not have any luck offensively with nine line drive outs.
“Alexia Sprick had a rough start but settled in,” Dowell said. “We only had two errors but both of them were at the wrong time of the game. A couple of more plays would have gone our way on either side of the ball and we were right in this game.”
Wright City opened the game with 11 unanswered runs in the first-three innings before giving up two in the top-half of the fourth.
New Franklin also tallied three in the fifth.
As for Sprick, the sophomore hurler gave up 13 runs on seven hits and seven walks in four innings for the loss. She also struck out one batter.
Kayce Hundley went 2-for-3 in the game for New Franklin with a double, home run and four RBIs. Sprick, Lauren Evans and Haley Washburn each had one hit, being singles.
In the seventh place game, Dowell said the girls started off good by hitting the ball well and scoring runs but could not get out of the third inning.
“If it wasn’t for the time limit this game might still be going on,” Dowell said.
New Franklin led Smith-Cotton 8-4 after 2 1/2 before surrendering 11 runs in the bottom half of the third.
Lyndsey Brown took the loss for New Franklin by giving up 15 runs on six hits and four walks in three innings. She also had one strikeout.
New Franklin also hit the ball better against Smith-Cotton with seven hits. Evans went 2-for-3 with a single and a double. Washburn also had two singles and one RBI while Maupin added a double and two RBIs and Kristen Flick, Isabelle Matney and Benner each with one single.