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New Franklin wins against Sturgeon, Pilot Grove falls to No. 1 Harrisburg

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The New Franklin Lady Bulldogs softball team did just enough to win against Sturgeon Wednesday night in the semifinal round of the Class 1 District 6 Tournament at Harrisburg.

Although the Lady Bulldogs won 13-7 against Sturgeon, the hits and errors were almost even.

Nonetheless, New Franklin will be moving on to face Harrisburg in the championship game scheduled on Thursday. Harrisburg, the No. 1 seed, beat No. 4 Pilot Grove in the other semifinal game 12-2 in five innings.

While the win evened New Franklin’s record to 10-10 overall, head coach Ross Dowell said the girls started the game a little flat and pressed at the plate. “Finally, we got our minds right and made some big swings,” Dowell said. “Sturgeon was gritty tonight, but I was proud of our defensive effort and how we were able to grind out a win. I’m excited to compete for a district title against Harrisburg.”

Although New Franklin jumped out on top 4-1 in the first inning, Sturgeon would answer with one run in each of the second and third innings of play and  four in the fourth to go up 7-4. That also turned out to be the last lead in the game for Sturgeon as New Franklin rallied back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 7-all and then scored four in the fifth and two again in the sixth for the win.

Alexia Sprick picked up the win for New Franklin while Vanlandingham took the loss for Sturgeon. Sprick pitched all seven innings and gave up seven runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out two batters. Vanlandingham had five strikeouts in six innings.

New Franklin also out-hit Sturgeon 11-10, with Kayce Hundley going 4-for-5 with three singles, one double and four RBIs. Izy Matney was 3-for-5 with three singles and two RBIs while Jayna Matthews added a single, home run and six RBIs, and Abby Maupin and Carly Dorson each with one single.

For Sturgeon, Yoder had two singles, one double and two RBIs while Bailey added a single, triple and one RBI and McMorris with one single and one double. 

As for the Pilot Grove Lady Tigers softball team, they had their season come to an end against the tournament’s top seed.

While the loss closed out Pilot Grove’s season at 4-14 overall, head coach George Monk said the girls knew going into this game that they would have to perform exceptionally well in all facets of the game. “Against an aggressive, good hitting ball club like Harrisburg there is very little room for mistakes,” Monk said. “Unfortunately, our defense threw the ball around too much and the wind did give our rookie outfielders a little difficulty. Some of those mistakes were caused by the speed of Harrisburg, causing a few rushed throws. We did hit the ball fairly well and Marci Lammers did a fine job from the mound. Since this is our last game of the season, I would be remiss if I didn’t express my pride in the advances our young players made during the season. The positive attitudes that were exhibited all season is a great tribute to the character of the Pilot Grove Lady Tigers.”

While Pilot Grove scored one run in each of the first and fifth innings of play, Harrisburg scored runs in every inning and led 3-1 after one, 7-1 after two and 10-1 after three before adding two more runs in the fourth.

Combs picked up the win for Harrisburg while Marci Lammers took the loss for Pilot Grove. Combs gave up just two runs on five hits while recording six strikeouts in five innings. Lammers, meanwhile, pitched four innings and allowed 12 runs on four hits and four walks while striking out one batter. 

Emanuel tripled and drove in one run to lead all hitters for Harrisburg. Badon had one double and two RBIs while Griggs added one single.

For Pilot Grove, Marci Lammers and Kaitlyn Maggard each went 2-for-3 with two singles. Maggard also drove in one run. Grace Phillips had the only other hit, being a single, while Danae Lammers finished the game with one RBI. 

Pilot Grove wins district opener against Jamestown 

The Pilot Grove Lady Tigers softball team had a great start in the Class 1 District 6 Tournament Tuesday night in Harrisburg by beating Jamestown 6-4.

The Lady Tigers, improving to 4-13 on the season, jumped out to a 6-0 in three innings after pushing across two in the first and four again in the third. However, in the fifth and sixth innings of play, Jamestown rallied back with two runs in each inning to cut the lead back to two.

Pilot Grove coach George Monk said the girls were very wary of Jamestown as their last outing was a real barn burner.  

“We won the last game against them by throwing the tying run out at the plate for the last out of the game and tonight they had bases loaded in the top of the seventh,” Monk said. “The key tonight was an outstanding pitching performance from Marci Lammers.  I feel she threw the best game of the season at the Eagles.   She located her fastball and then threw some really nice changeups. 

“Statistically, Jamestown beat us except for the nine strikeouts that Marci accumulated.  Offensively, we had a great start.  Kaitlyn Maggard again crushed the ball all night.  Grace Peterson had some timely hits, also.  Freshman Elaina Wirths had two great sacrifice bunts to put runners in scoring  position.  Maddie Watring also contributed with her first hit of the season.”

Marci Lammers picked up the win for Pilot Grove while Gina Meisenheimer took the loss for Jamestown. In seven innings, Lammers struck out nine batters and gave up four runs on seven hits and four walks. Meisenheimer, meanwhile, pitched six innings and allowed six runs on six hits and six walks while striking out four batters. 

As for the hitting in the game for Pilot Grove, Kaitlyn Maggard and Grace Peterson each had two hits with a single, double and one RBI. Ava Hoff and Maddie Watring each had one single. Olivia Felten also drove in one run. 

For Jamestown, Sedgwick had a single and a double while Shelton added two singles, Meisenheimer and Sorrells each with one single and one RBI, Paulson with one single and Sumner with one RBI.