The Boonville Lady Pirates softball team had its share of ups and downs for the 2019 season.
Although the Lady Pirates finished 6-14 on the season, they made great strides in the Tri-County Conference by placing fifth out of eight teams at 3-4.
That finish alone landed the Lady Pirates with one player on the all-conference team for the 2019 season and two on the all-district team.
Junior shortstop Kourtney Kendrick was listed on both the all-conference and all-district team as an infielder, while sophomore Emma West was named to the all-district team as a utility player.
Boonville softball coach Christie Zoeller said this season was full of ups and downs.
“I feel like we had a lot of kinks to work out early on in the season, and really struggled for a few weeks finding our best defensive combination,” Zoeller said. “I do feel that about halfway through the season we were able to get into a consistent routine and put together a strong defense. With that being said, we also stated to find confidence in our hitting and started to trust one another and found a way to string a few hits together.
“I know that our record isn't the most outstanding when you look at the numbers, but I feel that we are a young team and that at the end of the season we really were playing strong softball. We were just young and a little inexperienced in some big positions this season, but I look forward to what the future holds for this Lady Pirate Team.”
As for the Tri-County Conference, Zoeller said  the team had a goal to go out and win more conference games this season and they were able to achieve that.
“There are a couple of conference games that we played early on that I would have liked to play again later in the season,” Zoeller said. “I feel like we were playing better ball at the end and  those outcomes may have been different. I feel like finishing in the middle of the conference was a good place to be this year. This conference has some great competition in it. We will reset our goals next season and work hard to achieve them.”
The good news is that Boonville returns seven starters for the 2020 season.
As for Kendrick and West, they were 1-2 in hitting this season for Boonville.
Kendrick finished the season hitting. 367 along with teammate Alexis Albin and had 22 hits in 60 at-bats with 15 singles, five doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs. The junior standout also scored 18 runs and had two three-hit games while going 3-for-4 against the Marshall Owls with two singles and one double and 3-for-3 against Carthage with three singles and two RBIs.
Zoeller said Kendrick was a leader on the infield for the Lady Pirates this season.
“Kourtney split time at shortstop and third base this season and really gave us her all at both positions,” Zoeller said. “When our season ended last year, Kourtney said that she was going to come back and hit the ball better this year, and that is just what she did. She was in the top part of our lineup most of the season and in the last half of the season she really was on fire. We decided to move her to the lead off position, which may be a little uncharacteristic for someone with her power, but we needed someone with a consistent bat in the lead off position. Kourtney is just an all-around solid athlete who is going to go out and do whatever she needs to do to help her team.”
West also has a bright future both as a pitcher and hitter for Boonville. While closing out the season with a .364 clip, West also had 24 hits in 66 at-bats with 14 singles, seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 16 RBIs.
Of course West was at her best against Osage, Versailles and Kearney this season. She went 3-for-4 against Osage with two singles and one double and was 3-for-3 against both Versailles and Kearney. In the game against Versailles, West had two singles, one home run and two RBIs. Meanwhile, in the game against Kearney, West had two singles, one double and two RBIs.
As a pitcher this past season for Boonville, West finished 3-9 with an ERA of 9.532 with 39 strikeouts in 47 innings. Her best game came in a 12-2 win over New Franklin in which West struck out 10 batters and gave up just two runs on four hits and four walks for the complete-game victory.
Zoeller said for the second year in a row, West has really gone out and impressed the competition with the way she swings her bat.
“As one of our leading hitters, I feel like Emma always stepped to the plate with confidence and really worked hard to put the ball in play, and she usually did it with a ton of power behind it. Emma stayed in the 3 or 4 hole for us most of this season and really handled the pressure of that "clean up" position very nicely. I think that Emma bring so much to our team with her pitching and her hitting and I am really excited to see all that she will accomplish over the next two seasons.”