Lady Pirates win on walk off single in ninth against SBC
Boonville junior Emma West had already done enough for the Lady Pirates softball team in Wednesday night’s thrilling 7-6 win at Rolling Hills park.
With two hits in her previous three at bats, West had the game resting on her shoulders in the bottom half of the ninth with two outs and the winning run at second base. So what did West do? The junior standout hit a hard line drive up the middle to score Gracey Rose on a play at the plate for the game winner.
The win improved Boonville’s record to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Tri-County Conference.
Although the game came down to a play at the plate, head coach Christie Zoeller said this was an amazing game to be a part of.
“I definitely feel like we came out a little slow and sluggish but we found a way to come together as a team and pull this one out,” Zoeller said. “Abby (Pulliam) stayed composed on the mound and I am proud of her for pitching nine complete innings. Defensively, we are still working on cutting down our errors but as a whole it was a consisting outing. Our hitting and base running is what made a huge difference in this game. We strung hits together at the right time and never gave up.”
In addition to collecting the game-winning hit, West was also the only player with two hits or more for Boonville. West went 3-for-4 with two singles, one double and two RBIs.
Zoeller said West stepped up big time in this game. “The last hit of the game, with two outs, is one that I know will stick with her and this team for a long time,”Zoeller said. “She didn’t let the pressure get to her and delivered in the best way possible.”
Sophomore pitcher Abby Pulliam also delivered another gem for the Lady Pirates. While improving to 3-0 on the season with the complete game victory, Pulliam struck out seven batters and gave up six runs on 10 hits and two walks.
Brynna Barnum took the loss for Southern Boone. Barnum also went the distance for the Lady Eagles and allowed seven runs on eight hits and four walks while striking out eight.
Southern Boone took the lead early in the game with one run in the top half of the second on a RBI-single to right by Lindie Pauley. However, in the bottom half of the fourth, Boonville answered with two runs of its own on the solo home run to left center by senior Daylynn Baker and a RBI-single to left by Brooke Eichelberger to make it 2-1. The home run was Baker’s second of the season.
The Lady Pirates would get the bats going again in the fifth with four runs on a two-RBI single to center by Pulliam, a RBI-single to right by West and a fly out to center by Kourtney Kendrick to extend the lead to 6-1.
But at that point, at least for Southern Boone, the game was just getting started as the Eagles rallied back with three in the sixth and two again in the seventh to tie the game at 6-all.
The Lady Pirates, meanwhile, had a chance to end the game in the bottom of the eighth after a lead off single by West and a walk by Brooke Eichelberger. Southern Boone, however, was able to get out of the inning back to back groundouts. Then, after a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth for the Eagles, Boonville made some more noise in its half of the inning when Pulliam and Baker reached on back to back walks. West then delivered the biggest hit of her career to date with a single to center to score Gracey Rose from second.
Zoeller said the call at home plate was correct after a collision by Rose and the Southern Boone catcher. “The runner has to be given a path to the plate, which did not happen,” Zoeller said. “The same thing happened to us in the seventh and eighth inning but when I questioned it the umpire said the ruling would stand. In the ninth, it was the same thing. The plate was blocked and Gracey did a tremendous job getting to the plate. She did the job her team needed.”
Baker’s homer was also huge at the time because it gave Boonville its first lead of the game. Pulliam finished the game with one single and two runs batted in while Kendrick and Brooke Eichelberger added one single and one RBI each and Olivia Eichelberger with one single.
For Southern Boone, Alie Martin went 2-for-4 with a single, double and one RBI. Pauley had two singles and drove in two runs while Paige Cruzan and Zoey DeHaas added two singles each. Mariah Prince also doubled.
In the JV game, Boonville defeated Southern Boone 11-5.
The Lady Pirates, 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the TCC, opened the game with six runs in the first and then sent five more runs across in the third. Southern Boone scored three in the third and two in the fourth.
Boonville JV coach Caitlin Pendergraft said this was a great way to start the JV conference games. “We came out much more aggressive at the plate and on the bases,”Pendergraft said. “We played heads up ball and played as a team the entire game. Emma West led off the game pitching the first two innings and didn’t allow any hits or walks and struck out three. Rachel Massa finished up the last two innings for us. She defended our lead and tacked on an RBI double at the plate. These girls showed what it means to play together as a team and what we can do together.”
West picked up the win in the circle for Boonville’s JV with three strikeouts in two innings. Massa also pitched two innings and gave up five runs on four hits and three walks.
Boonville also out-hit Southern Boone 9-4, with Carlie Bishop going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Massa doubled and drove in one run while Rose, Olivia Eichelberger and Allison Drummond added one single and one RBI each. Alison Eichelberger, Faith Mesik and Becky Evans also had one single apiece.
For Southern Boone, Lindie Pauley doubled and drove in one run.