Boonville knocks off No. 1 Hallsville in Class 3 District 6 Tournament

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

For the second straight game, the Boonville Lady Pirates softball team found a way to win against a higher seeded opponent in the Class 3 District 6 Tournament at Moberly.

After knocking off Fulton 4-2 in 10 innings on Wednesday, the Lady Pirates came back on Thursday and upset top-seeded Hallsville 6-5 to advance to Saturday’s championship game against Centralia.

The first pitch will begin at 10 a.m.

The Lady Panthers, the No. 2 seed, cruised past third-seeded Mexico 11-1 in the second semifinal game on Wednesday.

While the win improved Boonville’s record to 12-11 overall, head coach Christie Zoeller said these past two nights have been an amazing ride for this team.

“We are playing our kind of softball and are playing as a team,” Zoeller said. “I have stressed this all year to these ladies and they are putting it all together at the right time. Our hitters are finding a way to push runs across and are hitting the ball hard and making things happen. Defensively, we are doing all that we can to stop balls and keep them in front of us. We are doing the little things right and it is just fun to watch. I can’t say enough about the job Abby (Pulliam) is doing for us on the mound. She is moving her ball so well right now and really keeping batters on their toes. 

“I think it says so much for her determination and drive to pitch 10 innings on Wednesday and then come out and pitch a complete seven tonight and hold off some really big Hallsville hitters. Going into the bottom of the seventh, I just had this feeling she was going to get the job done. There was something about the look on her face that showed she wasn’t going down without a fight. We also had key plays in the inning when Brooke (Eichelberger) and Rachel (Massa) both dove after the ball on the right field line to come up with a big out. This was just a great, complete game and I am loving this ride these ladies are taking us on.”

While losing by the same identical score earlier in the season against Hallsville, the Lady Pirates turned the tables this season by holding the Indians big hitters in check.

Hallsville still out-hit Boonville 9-8, which is the second straight game the Lady Pirates have been out-hit by their opponent. However its also the second straight game that Boonville’s opponent has had more errors. Hallsville had four errors in the game while Boonville played a clean game for seven innings.

As for Pulliam, the sophomore hurler improved to 12-3 on the season. While pitching all 10 innings on Wednesday and seven again on Thursday, Pulliam has now given up just seven runs and 13 hits in 17 innings pitched. 

In the game against Hallsville, Pulliam struck out three batters and gave up five runs on nine hits and two walks. Avery Oetting took the loss for Hallsville in relief of starter Edie Cobb. Oetting pitched just 2/3 inning and gave up two hits and one walk. Cobb, meanwhile, pitched 6 1/3 innings and surrendered six runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four batters. 

Although the chances of scoring were minimal in the first-three innings, Boonville finally got on the board in the top half of the fourth with three runs  on a RBI-double to left center by Emma West, a fly out to right by Kourtney Kendrick for a run and a RBI-single to center by Jordyn Fuemmeler to make it 3-0.

But like all good teams, especially Hallsville, it’s hard to keep a good team down for very long. The Indians proved that in  its half of the fourth with two runs on two hits, one walk and one hit batter.

The Lady Pirates answered quickly, though. In the very next inning, Boonville tacked on another run after a two-out walk to Pulliam and a hit to right by West, which went for a three-base error, to extend the lead to 4-2.

However, in the sixth inning, Hallsville took its first lead of the game with three runs on three hits, which included back to back singles by Madysen Lucas and Abby Leer and a two RBI double to center by Marissa Austene to go up 5-4.

As it turned out, the one-run deficit was nothing for the Lady Pirates. After tying the game in the seventh on a walk, sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch, Boonville came back for another run after back to back singles by Brooke Eichelberger and Kourtney Kendrick to put the Lady Pirates on top 6-5.

That’s all Pulliam needed in the bottom half of the seventh. Although Hallsville put the lead off runner on on a single to left, Boonville came back with perhaps the play of the game when Brooke Eichelberger and Rachel Massa-the first and second baseman-collided on a fly ball over first. Luckily, Eichelberger came down with the ball for the first out in the inning. Pulliam then struck out the next two batters to end the game.

West finished the game 2-for-4 for Boonville with a single, double and one RBI. Kendrick had two singles and one RBI while Brooke Eichelberger added two singles, Jordyn Fuemmeler with one single and one RBI and Abby Pulliam with one single.

For Hallsville, Taylor Jones and Avery Oetting each had a single and a double. Marissa Austene also doubled while Rachel Hargis added one single and one RBI and Paige McCord, Madysen Lucas and Abby Leer each with one single. Cobb and Blakemore also drove in one run each. 

Boonville senior Daylynn Baker slides around the tag by Hallsville’s shortstop in the second inning Thursday night in the semifinal round of the Class 3 District 6 Tournament at Moberly. The Lady Pirates, the No. 5 seed, knocked off top-seeded Hallsville 6-5.