ROLLA – In its best season to-date, Waynesville finished 2012 with a loss to Rolla Monday night.
The top-seeded Rolla squad captured the Missouri Class 4, District 10 Tournament championship by blanking second-seeded Waynesville in a 5-0 rout.
"Second in Districts is not a bad season," Waynesville coach Kelly Jackson said after the game. "I am extremely proud of these girls and the season they had."
Rolla used a dominating pitching performance by senior right-hander Andrea Zalis – a one hit, 10 strikeout effort – Monday to move on.
Waynesville's junior pitcher Marena Coonrod reached for a first-inning single against Zalis; the only other base-runner Zalis allowed came in the fifth inning on an error. The Rolla ace struck out ten in her best game of the season.
"Andrea was outstanding," said Rolla coach Tim Dunn. "She kept getting ahead of every hitter. She got first-pitch strikes on probably 90 percent of the hitters she faced...[and] moved the ball around on them and had good velocity. She was just dominating."
Rolla scored the only run it needed in the bottom of the second inning when junior Anna Feeler belted a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Brittany Jones.
Rolla added another run in the fourth inning when Feeler reached base on an error and senior Boh Rafter ripped an RBI single.
A three-run fifth for Rolla capped the night's scoring. After being hobbled by fouling a pitch off her foot, Zalis slammed a two-out double off the left field fence on the next pitch. The inning also featured a RBI single by Rafter, a single by Jones and a run-scoring error.
The District 10 champion outhit Waynesville six to one as Coonrod took the loss.
To couple Waynesville's only hit, Coonrod faced 28 batters in six innings, allowing five hits, one earned run and striking out four.
Waynesville ended its sparkling campaign with a 15-8 record in 2012, the finest season the team has enjoyed since its softball program was re-instituted seven years ago.
"We see them in the summer a lot," Dunn said of Waynesville. "We knew they were getting better and better. Coach Jackson has done a great job with them."
Rolla (16-4) will now host Columbia Hickman (19-7) in Missouri Class 4 Sectional action at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Rolla. It's the second time in the past three years that Rolla has won a district crown and advanced to sectional competition.
Hickman moved on by winning the District 9 Tournament, defeating Jefferson City 7-0 Friday in the title game.
The winner of the Rolla-Hickman matchup will take on the Ozark-Webb City sectional winner in Class 4 Quarterfinal play at noon Saturday at a location to be determined. The quarterfinal survivor moves on to the Class 4 State Tournament Final Four, to be held at the Killian Softball Complex in Springfield Oct. 19-20.