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Lady Pirates put up good fight in 9-1 loss against Centralia

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

After back to back nights of knocking off the higher seeded team, the Boonville Lady Pirates softball team looked to No. 2 Centralia no differently going into Saturday’s championship game in the Class 3 District 6 Tournament in Moberly.

Although the Lady Panthers had the better record, Boonville proved that it was capable of hanging with those teams after beating Fulton and Hallsville.

Unfortunately for the Lady Pirates, they had no answer for the quicker and fundamentally sound Centralia team in a 9-1 loss.

Boonville finished the season at 12-12.

Boonville softball coach Christie Zoeller said the girls had a great run in districts.

“They’re a great team and I hope they go on and do well,” Zoeller said. “This district run has definitely been a lot of fun for us. To go 10 innings and win against Fulton and then the next night knock off the No. 1 seed, which were two great programs, I think shows were our program is headed. I am proud of the this team. It’s just unfortunate the way this game played out.

“We knew Centralia was going to be quick and play a lot of small ball. We just had to come out and play our game and expect the stolen bases and expect the bunts. But the way the game started out with Abby striking out the first girl and the pass ball and then an error that sent two runs across, I just think that changes the momentum of the game for our team, and against a good team like Centralia you want to keep the momentum even keel and never give them the upper hand.”

From a hitting standpoint, the Lady Pirates were right there with Centralia. The Panthers out-hit Boonville 6-5. However, the defensive lapses proved to be too much as the Lady Pirates committed six errors compared to zero for Centralia.

Centralia also set the tone of the game early by scoring two runs, both unearned, on just one hit and a costly error that led to both Lady Panthers’ runs.

Centralia never looked back in the game while pushing across four more runs in the second on three hits and one walk to extend the lead to 6-0.

As for Boonville, they never really got going offensively while getting their first runner in the top half of the fourth on a single to left by Rachel Massa. The Lady Pirates also had back to back runners on base for the first time in the fifth after a one-out walk by Daylynn Baker and a single to left by Jordyn Fuemmeler. 

However each time Centralia pitcher Kaelyn Walters silenced Boonville hitters by getting the next-two batters to end the inning.

Zoeller said it was also tough dealing with a quicker and much smaller Centralia team.

“They’re quick and we’re big and strong and you know we probably got 3-4 hits today that if the wind is blowing the other direction, we hit the ball out instead of the ball coming back in. I know Kourtney had one and Albin’s probably would have been out.”

Needless to say, the small ball worked in this case as Centralia added to its run total in the bottom half of the sixth with three more runs on a two-RBI single to left by Meredith Wright and a RBI-double to left center by Makenzi Adkisson to push the lead to 9-0.

Meanwhile, in the seventh, Boonville scored its only run of the ballgame when Kourtney Kendrick slapped a single over third and later scored on a RBI-double to right center by Alexis Albin.

Walters picked up the complete game victory for Centralia while Abby Pulliam took the loss for Boonville. In seven innings, Walters struck out seven batters and gave up one run on four hits and two walks. Pulliam, meanwhile, pitched six innings and allowed nine runs-three earned-on six hits and four walks while striking out seven batters. 

Pulliam finished the season at 12-4 overall.

As for the hitting in the game, Adkisson had the only extra base hit with a double and one RBI. Wright singled and drove in two runs while Walters, Holiman and Ross each had one single and one RBI. Hawkins also had one single while Bostick drove in one run.

For Boonville, Alexis Albin doubled and drove in one run while Rachel Massa, Kourtney Kendrick and Jordyn Fuemmeler each singled. 

The Boonville Lady Pirates softball team came away with a second place finish Saturday in the Class 3 District 6 Tournament in Moberly after losing to Centralia in the championship game 9-1. The Lady Pirates closed out the season at 12-12 overall after knocking off No. 4 Fulton and No. 1 Hallsville to reach the title game.