Lady Pirates drops conference finale against Eldon

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The Boonville Lady Pirates softball team couldn’t have picked a worse time to go into a tailspin with districts next week in Moberly.

With districts coming out today, the Lady Pirates prior to the seven-game skid were looking at a possible No. 2 or 3 seed. But since the skid, which is now in its 13th day, Boonville can now hope for a possible 4-5 seed at best.

Thursday night’s 7-6 loss against Eldon dropped Boonville to 9-11 overall and 2-5 in the Tri-County Conference. As for the Lady Mustangs, they improved to 5-14 overall and 1-6 in the TCC.

Boonville softball coach Christie Zoeller said the past two weeks are not a good reflection of what this team is capable of achieving. “We are second guessing everything and make careless mistakes right now,” Zoeller said. “We gave Eldon way too many runs tonight and just let the lead get too far out of reach.

“It was nice to see some of our hitters getting back on track tonight. Emma (West) came up big in the bottom of the sixth to tie up the game. It was great to see her hitting the ball hard and driving in runs. I have to hope that we will get all of the kinks worked out and as we roll into next week we will once again be playing Lady Pirate softball the way that we know how.”

Offensively and defensively the Lady Pirates were right there with Eldon. Boonville out-hit Eldon 10-9 and both teams finished the game with two errors.

The Lady Pirates were also able to overcome a 3-0 deficit to start the game. But even then the first inning didn’t come without much controversy. It was bad enough that Eldon scored two runs on one hit, one walk and one error. However, the Mustangs were also awarded a run on a interference call at second-which should have ended the inning. Instead, the home plate umpire ruled that the run had cross the plate before the interference.

Luckily, Boonville was able to get two of the runs back in the bottom half of the first on singles each by Abby Pulliam and Emma West.

The Lady Pirates then took the lead in the bottom half of the third on a RBI-single to center by Brooke Eichelberger and a RBI-single to left by Daylynn Baker to go up 4-3.

However, in the top half of the fourth, Eldon’s Alivia Beanland hit a two-run home run to center with two strikes to put the Mustangs on top 5-4.

Eldon tacked on another run in the fifth when Elizabeth Rush led off the inning with a double to center and wound up scoring on a overthrow to third to make it 6-4.

Boonville battled back once again with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the sixth when West hit a two-RBI double to left center to score both Olivia Eichelberger and Rachel Massa, who had walked and singled earlier, to tie the game at 6-all.

Nonetheless, the bad luck continued for Boonville in the seventh when Rush again led off with a double to left, advanced to third on a bobbled ball by the catcher and then scored on the RBI-single past first by Elnora Horn to go ahead 7-6.

Boonville never got any closer in the game as Eldon pitcher Chloe Ruark retired the side in the bottom half of the inning for the complete-game victory. 

Ruark struck out five batters and gave up six runs on 10 hits and three walks in seven innings. Abby Pulliam took the loss for Boonville by giving up seven runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out five batters. 

Rush finished the game  3-for-4 for Eldon with two doubles. Madeline Oltmann had two singles while Beanland added a home run and two RBIs. Camryn Marriott and Elnora Horn each had one single and one RBI while Jade Fletcher added one single.

For Boonville, Emma West went 4-for-4 with three singles, one double and three RBIs. Daylynn Baker was 2-for-3 with two singles and one RBI while Olivia Eichelberger finished the game with one double, Brooke Eichelberger with one single and one RBI and Rachel Massa and Abby Pulliam each with one single. 

Note: In the Class 3 District 6 Tournament at Moberly, Boonville drew the No. 5 seed and will play No. 4 Fulton on Wednesday, Oct. 14 starting at 4 p.m. Hallsville picked up the 1 seed, followed by Centralia, Mexico, Fulton, Boonville, Southern Boone and Moberly. 

Boonville second baseman Rachel Massa attempts to turn a double play in the first inning Thursday night against Eldon in Tri-County Conference action at Rolling Hills park. The Lady Pirates fell to 9-11 overall and 2-5 in the TCC by losing to Eldon 7-6.