Boonville Lady Pirates softball coach Christie Zoeller knew her team had some kinks to work out Saturday in the Lead Off Classic.
With each team playing just one game due to rain the night before, Zoeller saw some good things and  some things the team still needs to work on before their next game.
Wright City, who was seeded sixth in the tournament, beat third-seeded Boonville 8-2.
“Today was all about coming in and working out kinks that we knew we still had in place,” Zoeller said. “We have a unique group of girls and so many of them can play the same position and really can play it pretty similar to each other so we are still working on trying to find the right mix of it. My pitchers both did a nice job today and were working the ball pretty well. I wish we would have hit the ball better than we did today. I feel like we hit it well against Jeff City and today we were just swinging for the fences.”
Boonville had only four hits in the game against Wright-two of which came in the first inning on singles by Daylynn Baker and Bryanna Jones. The Lady Pirates also had two hits in the fourth inning, with Brooke Eichelberger slapping a one-out double to left and Rachel Massa driving in Boonville’s first run with a triple to right.
Unfortunately for Boonville, the hits were few and in-between even though the Lady Pirates had runners reach base in all but one inning.
As for Wright City, they scored three in the first on two hits, one walk and one error and two again in the second to extend the lead to 5-0.
Meanwhile after a scoreless third inning, Boonville came back with two in the fourth on the double by Eichelberger and triple by Massa. Massa also scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to three at 5-2.
Boonville never got any closer in the ballgame as Wright City tacked on three more runs in the sixth to make it 8-2.
Zoeller said she knows the girls can do better.
“I didn't like that we didn't string hits together like I know this team can do,” Zoeller said. “If you look at our batting order we have some big hitters in there and we should have strung more hits together. I didn't like the amount of errors that we had at the beginning but I think that it is also nerves.
“I moved my third base to first base and my first baseman to third base so it's the first time they have played in that position and we knew these first few games is going to be about figuring it out and getting comfortable. But then what I did like was my second baseman diving for a ball and making a play. There is just a lot of heart in this team and I think that will come through at some point. We have two good pitchers and Abby (Pulliam) just came out and pitched a hell of that last part of the game.”
Melissa Locke picked up the win in the circle for Wright City while Emma West took the loss for Boonville. Locke went the distance and struck out six batters while giving up two runs on four hits and three walks. West, meanwhile, pitched two innings and allowed five runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one. Abby Pulliam then came in and pitched four innings in relief and issued three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out one.
Brooklyn Moore went 3-for-4 in the game for Wright City with one triple and one RBI. Summer Boswell and Kylie Jarmuszkiewcz.
For Boonville, Rachel Massa went 1-for-3 with a triple and one RBI. Brooke Eichelberger doubled while Daylynn Baker and Bryanna Jones each singled.
New Franklin softball coach Ross Dowell had a flashback to last year when the Lady Bulldogs let several leads slip away.
After taking a 4-3 lead after two innings against Sedalia Smith-Cotton in he Lady Pirate Lead Off Classic at the high school ballfield, the Lady Bulldogs had that one bad inning as the Tigers exploded for eight runs in the fourth inning for a 11-5 victory.
“Kind of the same story as last year,” Dowell said. “We did some good things but then in the fourth and sixth innings we couldn’t get an out defensively. I thought our swings looked better from Wednesday’s jamboree. We only had two errors, which didn’t hurt us, but we also had eight walks. We must be better. However, I thought Alexia pitched a pretty good game. We will have to clean up some things and get better each and every day.”
Sprick pitched all four innings for New Franklin and gave up 11 runs-earned-on seven hits and eight walks while striking out two batters.
Kayce Hundley had the only extra base hit in the game for New Franklin, being a double. Hundley also drove in two runs. Sprick had a RBI-single while Abby Maupin and Kristen Flick added one single each.