Lady Pirates drop conference opener against Southern Boone, 7-2

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The Boonville Lady Pirates softball team couldn’t have picked a tougher opponent to open the conference season than the Southern Boone Eagles Wednesday night on the road in Ashland.

After finishing 2-1 last weekend in the Lady Pirate Lead-Off Classic in Boonville, the Lady Pirates felt like they had a little momentum on their side heading into the game against SBC.

Unfortunately for Boonville, it was Southern Boone with the momentum after the first inning while plating three runs for a 7-2 victory.

The loss dropped Boonville to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the Tri-County Conference.

Boonville softball coach Christie Zoeller said this was a hard-fought game against a great Southern Boone team. “We know that we have got to get our bats going and string more hits together,” Zoeller said. “We just left too many runners on base tonight. We have to take advantage with runners in scoring position and find a way to push them across. It is early in our season and we will learn from this loss and use it to make ourselves better. We have a lot of great players to work with, we just have to find the right combination. One of the things I am looking forward to this season is the pitching duo we have in Abby (Pulliam) and Lillian (Newham). They compliment each other well and will take us far this season.”

Aside from the three-run first inning by SBC, the Lady Pirates also had their moments in the game such as the lead-off home run to start the game by Pulliam. Unfortunately for Boonville, the runs were few and far between. As for SBC, they added another run in the second to go up 4-1. Meanwhile, after two scoreless innings in the third and fourth, Boonville tacked on another run in its half of the fifth to cut the lead in half at 4-2. The Lady Pirates never got any closer as SBC plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth and one again in the sixth for the victory.

Cruzan picked up the win in the circle for SBC, while Pulliam took the loss for Boonville. Cruzan pitched all seven innings for the Lady Eagles and struck out six batters while giving up two runs on eight hits and two walks. Pulliam, meanwhile, pitched just two innings for Boonville and allowed four runs on three hits and three walks while striking out one batter. Newham then came in and pitched four innings in relief and issued three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out five batters.

Southern Boone also out-hit Boonville 9-8, with Z. DeHaas going 2-for-3 with a single, home run and two RBIs. E. DeHaas was also 2-for-3 with a single, double and one RBI, while Smith added two singles and Turner with a home run and one RBI.

For Boonville, Pulliam finished the game with two singles, a home run and one RBI. Josie Widel had a single and a double, while Emma West added a single and one RBI. Newham and Rachel Massa also had one single in the game.

In the JV game, Southern Boone defeated Boonville 9-1.

Boonville JV coach Caitlin Pendergraft said the first JV game of the season was a learning opportunity for the team. “We faced a good pitcher and were timid at the plate,” Pendergraft said. “We will work on communication on defense and aggressiveness at the plate on offense.”

Hailey Platt picked up the win in the circle for Southern Boone, while Mattie Wells took the loss for Boonville. Platt pitched all five innings and gave up one run on one walk while striking out nine batters. Wells, meanwhile, pitched the first-three innings for Boonville and allowed eight runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out two batters. Massa then came in and pitched one inning in relief and surrendered one run on two hits and one walk.

Southern Boone also finished the game with 10 hits in the game, with Platt going 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Sydney Turner and Graciella McLeland also had two hits in the game, while Sidney Nelson doubled.

Boonville had no hits.