Late-game rallies have been a key to success for Waynesville softball in 2012. In Monday's third consecutive victory, Waynesville's batters propelled the team in a late-game rally to stun Camdenton 12-7.
Waynesville's junior pitcher Marena Coonrod began Monday's bout by retiring six of the first eight Camdenton batters.
Before Waynesville even approached the plate on offense, head coach Kelly Jackson fired up her team.
"We're not waiting until the last inning, girls," Jackson said.
It took an inning for Waynesville to warm up, but in the bottom of the second junior infielder Sara Crum slammed a deep two RBI double to jet her team to a 2-0 lead.
"I can hit this," Crum said of her early at-bat.. "I can do this."
Camdenton retaliated with a two-out, two-RBI double of its own to tie the game in the top of the third inning. The next batter knocked in a the go-ahead run on a sharply hit single, making the score 3-2.
Crum came through for her team again in the bottom of the inning. Two batters reached base early on a walk and single before Crum hit a single of her own to tie the game at three-all.
In the next inning, Camdenton threatened with two runners in scoring position, but two athletic catches by sophomore outfielder Diamond Thomas kept the game gridlocked, 3-3.
After holding Waynesville scoreless in the fourth, Camdenton rallied in a three-run top of the fifth.
Fighting to stay alive in the bottom half of the fifth inning, Waynesville's sophomore infielder, Katelynn Miller, smoked an RBI triple to ignite the offense once again. Crum continued the rally by belting another RBI single, inching her team within one run. After another batter reached safely on a throwing error, which moved Crum to third base, Thomas bunted safely for an RBI as Crum made her way across the plate for the game-tying run. Camdenton then sacrificed an out and another Waynesville run scored on a fielder's choice giving Waynesville the lead, 7-6.
The opponent struck back to tie the game 7-7 after a fly ball fell into shallow centerfield. Coonrod kept her composure and pitched her way out of the inning, striking out Camdenton's final batter in the top of the sixth.
Waynesville's late-game offense rallied back in the bottom of the sixth. After a lead-off single, Crum smacked another RBI for the lead, sparking a five-run rally.
Coonrod made her way through the top of the seventh to hold on for another victory, 12-7.
For the second time since winning 8-7 against Salem in a seventh inning rally Sept. 15, Waynesville won in dramatic fashion again Monday.
"[Late-game wins] make us closer as a team," Crum said. "I don't remember beating [Camdenton] last year so this one was special for us."
Crum finished the game four-for-four with two singles, two doubles and five RBIs.
"I think [the team] is trying to give me a heart attack," Jackson said of the close games. "It takes us a while to figure out that we need to score some runs."
Waynesville will travel to Springfield Friday and Saturday to take part in the Springfield Varsity Tournament.
"We need to continue to get better as a team and not give other teams extra outs," Jackson said. "We still have tough conference games to play at Joplin and Rolla so we just need to keep getting better and build on these wins."
A time for this weekend's tournament has not yet been set.