West hits walk off in ninth, Boonville beats New Franklin 4-3

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
New Franklin third baseman Addy Salmon prepares to throw to shortstop Abby Maupin while Boonville's Alison Eichelberger races to second base during a rundown Thursday in New Franklin.

It took nine innings to get the job done, but in the end the Boonville Lady Pirates softball team prevailed Thursday night against the New Franklin Bulldogs 4-3.

In a much anticipated game between two teams that are only separated by three miles, the Lady Pirates scored the go ahead run on a walk off home run in the top of the ninth by Emma West to seal the victory.

The win improved Boonville’s record to 5-3 overall, while New Franklin dropped to 2-4 on the season. The win was also the Lady Pirates third straight win.

Boonville softball coach Christie Zoeller said this was an amazing game to be a part of. “There were definitely lots of ups and downs throughout and I am so proud of this team for never giving up,” Zoeller said. “Emma came up big in the top of the ninth, knocking over a huge home run to put us back on top. It was an amazing hit that came at the right time. I am also so proud of Abby Pulliam for staying composed on the mound and for going strong through all nine innings. She really did a nice job and seemed to be throwing harder through the eighth and ninth innings. You could tell she was giving her all. We also had some really great defensive plays that kept us on the winning side of this game. This was a total team win and was exciting all the way to the end.”

Although it took nine innings to get the win, the Lady Pirates pretty much dominated the first half of the game with two runs in the second and one again in the third to go up 3-0. Meanwhile, after a scoreless fourth and fifth innings of play, New Franklin started to hit the ball with authority in the next-two innings while plating two in the sixth and one again in the seventh to tie the game at 3-all. Then, after a scoreless eighth inning, Boonville got the one hit they were looking for when West hit a lead off home run to start the ninth to put the Lady Pirates up for good at 4-3.

Despite the loss, New Franklin softball coach Ross Dowell said this was a great high school softball game. “We got down 3-0 and battled back to send it to extra innings,” Dowell said. “We continued to grow again tonight. We made some very good defensive plays and had some really good at bats against a quality pitcher. I’m very proud of our effort tonight. Hopefully, we learn from these games and continue to improve.”

Junior pitcher Abby Pulliam picked up the win in the circle for Boonville, while Brynn Belstle took the loss for New Franklin. Pulliam, 4-3 on the season, pitched all nine innings and struck out 12 batters while giving up three runs on five hits and four walks. Belstle, meanwhile, pitched 5 1/3 innings in relief of starter Sophia Held and allowed one run on four hits with seven strikeouts.

Boonville also out-hit New Franklin 10-5, with Cora Thompson going 3-for-4 with a single and two doubles. West finished the game with a single, home run and one RBI, while Pulliam added two singles, Olivia Eichelberger one double and one RBI, Lexi Maddex one single and one RBI, Rachel Massa one single, and Josie Widel with one RBI.

For New Franklin, Belstle, Addy Salmon and Brooklyn Brown each doubled in the game while Carly Dorson and Sophia Held each singled. Belstle and Salmon also had one RBI each.

In the JV game, Boonville defeated New Franklin 12-0 in three innings.

Boonville JV coach Caitlin Pendergraft said the girls came out and hit the ball with confidence against New Franklin. “Mattie Wells, Sophie Zoeller and Allison Drummond each had two hits and one RBI.

West hits walk off home run in ninth, Boonville beats New Franklin 4-3

Gracey Rose had two hits and three RBIs. We took last night’s energy into this game and came away with another win. Emma (West) pitched in the circle for us tonight and did a great job hitting her spots. Another fun night at the ballpark with these Lady Pirate athletes.”

Boonville scored early and often against New Franklin by plating five runs in each of the first-two innings. The Lady Pirates also tacked on two in the third.

As for the pitching by West, the senior hurler struck out seven batters and gave up one hit and one walk in three innings. Emersyn Eads took the loss for New Franklin by giving up 12 runs on 11 hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings.

Boonville also out-hit New Franklin 11-1, with Gracey Rose going 2-for-2 with two doubles and three RBIs. Allison Drummond finished the game with a single, triple and one RBI, while Mattie Wells and Sophie Zoeller added two singles and one RBI each, Bayleigh Warren with one single and two RBIs, Lexie Lane with one single and one RBI, and Casey Bedell with one single.

Jayna Matthews had the only hit in the game for New Franklin, being a single.