Don’t tell the Boonville Lady Pirates or New Franklin softball team that Thursday night’s game didn’t matter.
With both teams combining for just two wins thus far for the 2019 season, the game was a chance for one team to go into the weekend with a winning streak not to mention bragging rights for the whole year.
As it turned out, the Lady Pirates did everything right with great pitching by Emma West and timely hitting by Brooke Eichelberger and Reese Lavers to beat New Franklin 12-2.
The win improved Boonville’s record to 2-5 overall while New Franklin dropped to 1-4.
“This was a fun game to be part of,” said Boonville coach Christie Zoeller. “Emma did an amazing job in the circle. She had 10 strikeouts so that is a big confidence boost for this team. We also had some really great defensive plays by our outfielders tonight. We have been working hard on reading the ball and it showed tonight. We are a young team and we are still trying to put this thing together in the most productive way and this win will hopefully boost confidence and help us to be able to trust each other a little more and propel us into a great week next week.”
The Lady Pirates also set the tone for the game with four runs in the first two innings on just four hits.
New Franklin coach Ross Dowell said his team played pretty good at times. “This was probably the best Alexia (Sprick) has pitched this year,” Dowell said. “Offensively, we never got anything going until the seventh. We loaded the bases in the fifth, but back to back strikeouts ended the inning. And then in the seventh, we fell apart with three errors and three walks to lead to Boonville’s big inning.”
The Lady Pirates also had a little help in the fourth after a one-out single to center by Lavers. In what should have been the third out in the inning, New Franklin dropped a routine fly ball in the circle on the hit by Rachel Massa to make it 5-0.
But even then the Lady Bulldogs had a chance by loading the bases in the bottom half of the fifth on a single to right by Addy Salmon for the team’s first hit of the ballgame. New Franklin also had two runners reach on an error and a walk. However back to back strikeouts by West ended the threat.
If that didn’t hurt enough  while loading the bases with just one out, the Lady Bulldogs watched Boonville come back and score another run in the sixth  on an error and an infield single to short by Brooke Eichelberger to extend the lead to 6-0.
However it was the seventh inning that put the nail in the coffin for Boonville. While sending a total of 10 batters to the plate in the inning, the Lady Pirates exploded for six runs on two hits, two walks and two errors to push the lead to 12-0.
New Franklin didn’t go down without a fight, though. In the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Bulldogs rallied back with two runs on three straight hits-a single to right by Salmon, double to right center by Abby Maupin and a two-RBI single to left by Alexia Sprick to make it 12-2.
New Franklin never got any closer as West came back and got the next batter on a fly out to short and a strikeout to end the game.
West picked up the complete game victory for Boonville and improved to 2-4 on the season. In seven innings, West struck out 10 batters and gave up two runs on four hits and four walks. Alexia Sprick took the loss for New Franklin by giving up five runs on five hits and one walk in five innings. Annie Benner then came in and pitched two innings in relief and allowed seven runs on four hits and three walks.
Eichelberger went 2-for-4 in the game for Boonville with two RBIs. Lavers also had two hits while Emma West added a double and one RBI. Kourtney Kendrick also doubled while Rachel Massa had one single and two RBIs, Daylynn Baker one single and one RBI, Olivia Eichelberger one single and Bryanna Jones with one RBI.
For New Franklin, Salmon went 2-for-3 with two singles. Alexia Sprick had one single and one RBI while Abby Maupin had one single.
Boonville also won the JV game against New Franklin 6-3.
The Lady Pirates, 4-2 on the season, scored all six runs in the first-two innings while New Franklin plated one in the third and two in the fourth.
Boonville JV coach Caitlin Pendergraft said the girls are continuing to play as a team and have come out to each game determined to give it their all.
Abby Pulliam picked up the win for Boonville while Abby Maupin took the loss for New Franklin. Pulliam pitched the first-two innings and gave up just one walk while striking out five batters. Rachel Massa then came in and pitched two innings in relief and allowed three runs on four hits while striking out four batters.
Carlie Bishop, Alexis Trigg and Josie Widel each had one hit in the game for Boonville. Widel also drove in one run.