The Boonville Lady Pirates softball team had the usual growing pains while switching to a new conference in 2018.
After competing in the North Central Missouri Conference for the last 10 years, the Lady Pirates found out the hard way that the Tri-County Conference from top to bottom is just as good or better night in and night out.
While finishing 8-15 on the season and 1-6 in the TCC, which was good enough for seventh place, Boonville also went one and done in the district tournament by bowing out against No. 2 Chillicothe 14-4.
The folllowing is a question and answer with Boonville Lady Pirates softball coach Christie Zoeller about the 2018 season:
Q: What are your thoughts on the 2018 season?
A: This was a season full of ups and downs. I think that we had a lot of potential with this team we just failed to execute and play a solid 7 innings on most days. In most of our 14 loses our opponents outscored us by more than 4 runs. Our errors and  the number of hits that were allowed makes it hard to win many games.
Q: What did you think about your first season in the Tri-County Conference. Did you feel like it was a good conference from top to bottom?
A: As the new team in the conference we weren’t really sure what to expect with our opponents. We had seen a couple of teams in tournaments last season but still really didn’t have a good read on many of them. I think the conference as a whole is very solid. We saw a lot of good competition and were able to play with most of them, we just failed to play a solid 7 innings.
Q: Boonville finished seventh in the TCC this season. Did you feel like there were some games that got away that maybe Boonville should have won?
A: We were disappointed to not finish with more wins in the new conference. However, I think we were able to play tight good games with all but one team. I think the strength of this conference will only make future teams stronger.
Q: This team seemed to struggle scoring runs this season, is it because of so many new faces?
A: I honestly feel like scoring runs was one of out strengths this season. We had 5 games were we scored 0 or one run, all the other games we scored 3 or more. In softball you should be able to win games if you are scoring 3 or more runs, it was our allowed runs that took us out of games.
Q: Why do you think this team was so inconsistent this year?
A: We were inexperienced in a lot of positions. We really only had 3 players return to positions they had played in previous years. With so many new faces it just takes time to build that team chemistry on the field. It was a true rebuilding year.
Q: What was the highlight or highlights of the season and explain?
A: Our game against Hickman was a highlight for me. We played extremely well and didn’t’ get behind until the bottom of the 6th. To be on top with good team like that for 5 solid innings is a good feeling.
Q: What was the low point or lowpoints of the season and explain?
A: Failing to see games through to the end. We had so many games that oculd have gone either way and they just never seemed to go our way.
Q: You return five starters next year, how does the 2019 season look for the Boonville Lady Pirates softball team?
A: I am excited for the future. We have a lot of hard working young girls that I am confident will put the work in during the off season. I am hopeful that we will come out stronger next season, with more confidence. They all lived this season and I know it didn’t go the way any of us wanted. We will all be more determined to come out and have better outcome in 2019.
For the season, senior Jamie Lemmons led the Lady Pirates with a .532 hitting clip along with 25 hits, six doubles, six home runs and 16 RBIs. Junior Bryanna Jones, meanwhile, finished the season with a team-leading 77 at-bats with 25 hits, 24 singles and 16 RBIs. Brooke Eichelberger and Logan Root tied for the team high in triples with one while Kourtney Kendrick led the team in runs scored with 24 and Josie Robb with hits with 25.
Lemmons also broke her career home run record with 23. Lemmons started the season with 17.