Drop to 8-13 overall and 1-5 in the Tri-County Conference
Up until the eighth inning, the Boonville Lady Pirates softball team had a 50-50 chance of beating the Eldon Mustangs Thursday night in Tri-County Conference action at Rolling Hills park.
With both teams near the bottom of the conference this fall, the Lady Pirates looked to be well on their way to win No. 2 in the TCC while leading 4-1 after four. But then the fifth and sixth innings happened and Eldon found its way back by outscoring Boonville 6-3 during that stretch to go up 7-4.
However in the bottom half of the sixth, the Lady Pirates battled back to tie the game at 7-all thanks to a two-run error by Eldon along with two walks.
Unfortunately for Boonville, they never got any closer to taking the lead in the ballgame as Eldon came back with a seven-run eighth inning while sending 12 batters to the plate for a 14-9 victory.
While the loss dropped Boonville to 8-13 overall and 1-5 in the TCC, head coach Christie Zoeller said the girls cannot allow the other team to keep scoring so many runs. “We have to get stronger defensively and improve our mental game,” Zoeller said. “On a positive note, we hit the ball really well tonight and were able to get timely hits strung together.”
With a total of 23 runs crossing the plate on 30 hits, the two teams did decide to play a little defense while committing only four errors in eight innings.
The Lady Pirates also set the tone in this game while pushing across two runs in the bottom half of the first on a two-run home run to center by senior Jamie Lemmons. The home run was Lemmons’ sixth of the season in 14 games played.
Needless to say, Eldon got one of the runs back in the second on on a RBI-single to center Camri Bond. Meanwhile, after both teams failed to score in the third, Boonville came back and tacked on two more runs in the fourth on one hit, one walk and two Eldon errors to go up 4-1.
The Lady Mustangs responded, though. After tying the game in the top half of the fifth with three runs on two hits, two wild pitches and one error, Eldon came back and added three more in the sixth on three straight runs to lead Boonville 7-4.
The Lady Pirates still found a way in the bottom half of the sixth, however, by pushing across three runs on a two-run error and a RBI-single to right by Josie Robb to tie the game at 7-all.
Boonville also had the winning run on base in the bottom half of the seventh after a one-out double to right center by Brooke Eichelberger. But that all ended when Eldon pitcher Madison VanHooser got the next-two Boonville hitters on flyouts.
Then, in the eighth, Eldon came out and exploded for seven runs on seven hits and two walks to lead Boonville 14-7.
The Lady Pirates rallied back with two runs in the bottom half of the eighth on singles each by Kourtney Kendrick and Robb. But by then the damage had already been done earlier in Eldon’s half of the inning.
VanHooser picked up the win in the circle for Eldon while Peyton Kempf took the loss for Boonville. VanHooser pitched all eight innings and gave up nine runs on 12 hits and three walks while striking out five. Kempf, meanwhile, pitched a total of 5 1/3 innings and gave up eight runs on 13 hits and three walks while striking out five. Emma West then came in and pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed six runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three batters.
As for the hitting in the game, Kayleigh Fike went 4-for-6 with one double and one RBI. VanHooser had three singles and two RBIs while Dajia Rudolph added two singles, one double and three RBIs. Elizabeth Rush, Camri Bond and Olivia Beanland each had two hits.
For Boonville, Lemmons went 3-for-4 with two singles, a home run and two RBIs. Robb had two singles, one double and two RBIs while Kourtney Kendrick added two singles and two RBIs, Brooke Eichelberger and Bryanna Jones each with one double, Daylynn Baker and Peyton Kempf each with one single and Morgan Massa with one RBI.
In the JV game, Boonville defeated Eldon 6-3 to improve to 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the TCC.
Boonville JV coach Caitlin Holman said the girls did a great job coming out tonight ready to play. “We approached the plate with confidence batting and played solid defense,” Holman said. “We will play our last JV game of the season on Monday versus Blair Oaks.”
Although both teams finished the game with six hits, Boonville never trailed Eldon and led 3-0 after one and 6-0 after four before giving up three runs in the fifth.
Brooke Eichelberger was the winning pitcher in the circle for Boonville while Lauren Hollenbeck took the loss for Eldon. Eichelberger pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out seven batters.
As for the hitting in the game for Boonville, Olivia Eichelberger went 2-for-4 with a single, double and one RBI. Mia Hatter added a double and three RBIs while Anna Thompson had one double, Reese Lavers with a RBI-single and Faith Mesik with one single.
Elizabeth Witt had the only extra base hit in the game for Eldon, being a double.