Team effort goes a long way as Lady Pirates sweep Wright City
As far as Boonville Lady Pirates softball coach Christie Zoeller is concerned 2-0 is 2-0.
Although the Lady Pirate Lead-Off Classic was cut short with only seven of the nine teams playing due to rain, Boonville more than held its own against a good Wright City team-which finished 23-5 last year-by sweeping the doubleheader 9-2 and 14-10.
While scoring a total of 23 runs in two games and finishing with 27 hits, the Lady Pirates also erased a 10-3 deficit in the second game to win by four.
“Overall, I’m really pleased with the way we came out and played,” Zoeller said. “I feel like we came out with a much higher intensity than we have in the past and I feel like there is a lot of promise in this team and it’s getting them to gel and work together and I think we definitely did that today, especially in the second game when they got up by how ever many runs.
“We came back, we battled and we strung hits together, which we have struggled with in the past. I feel like we’re at a new future of this program. We’re at a starting point and I’m excited for what this season will hold. I think Abby (Pulliam)came out and did a heck of a job pitching two games. Defensively, we had a lot of great plays. We had people diving, stuff like that that we just haven’t seen much in the past. I think our fears and worry is kind of dissipating and it’s balls out playing softball.”
Pulliam was definitely a contributing factor in both wins over Wright City. In the first game, the sophomore hurler struck out seven batters and gave up just two runs on five hits and three walks for the complete-game victory. She also went 3-for-4 with two singles, one double and one RBI.
Of course it didn’t hurt that Boonville exploded for six runs in the first inning to lead Wright City 6-1.
The Lady Pirates also one run in the second inning on a solo blast to left field by senior Daylynn Baker for her first career home run.
Boonville added two more runs in the fourth on an inside the park home run to right by junior Emma West to complete the scoring.
Wright City, meanwhile, scored its two runs in the first-two innings.
Zoeller said Baker’s home run was awesome. “Daylynn has really battled,” Zoeller said. “She proved today that she deserved to be out there. That was big, huge.”
Five different players had hits in the game for Boonville in Game 1. To go along with her first career home run, Baker also doubled and drove in two runs for the Lady Pirates. West was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Kourtney Kendrick added two singles and Rachel Massa one hit. Brooke Eichelberger, Alexis Albin, Alexis Trigg and Lexie Maddex each had one RBI.
For Wright City, Hannah Kendall went 2-for-2 with two singles.
Madison Hamlett took the loss for Wright City by giving up nine runs on 10 hits and two walks in six innings.
Boonville also got off to a great start in the second game with three runs in the first on a two-RBI double to left by West and a flyout to right by Kendrick.
But how things changed drastically in the bottom half of the inning as Wright City matched Boonville’s three runs with seven more to lead 10-3.
Wright City had just three hits in the inning while taking advantage of seven walks.
“That wasn’t the start we wanted,”Zoeller said. “I think Emma was frustrated with some calls that should have been a little more her way, but I think what it was is that she didn’t get warmed up good enough and we had a few too many walks and all of a sudden they’re up 10-3. I told the girls that we have to show what we are made of and they came back and put the hits together and Abby held them off.”
Seventeen to be exact. That’s the number of hits Boonville had in the second game against Wright City.
The Lady Pirates also scored in every inning, with eight different players collecting at least one hit in the game. Five players finished the game with multiple hits.
Of course nobody was better than senior Alexis Trigg, who finished the game 5-for-5 with three RBIs. Trigg also caught all 13 innings behind the plate for Boonville.
Brooke Eichelberger was 2-for-2 with one double and two RBIs. Kendrick also had two hits and drove in two runs while Jordyn Fuemmeler and Olivia Eichelberger added two hits and one RBI, Baker with one double and one RBI, West with one single and two RBIs and Lexie Maddex and Gracey Rose each with one single.
Pulliam also picked up her second win of the season in as many games. In 6 2/3 innings in relief, Pulliam gave up two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five batters. Emma Thomas took the loss for Wright City by giving up nine runs on eight hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Wright City finished the game with a total of six hits, with Tristen Head going 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs.
Boonville scored three runs in each of the first-two innings and then added two in the third, one in each of the fourth and fifth and four again in the seventh.
Zoeller said she doesn’t want to get cocky after the 2-0 start but feels the team has the potential to do really great things this season. “If we come out and live up to our potential then we are going to win more ballgames,” Zoeller said.