CAMDENTON – Jumping ahead in the first inning seems to be the Lady Tigers trademark this softball season.
Over the last week, the Camdenton Lady Lakers have struggled without key starters in the lineup, dropping five of the last six games. And as the Tigers scored two runs in Monday's first inning, it looked like another loss was just around the corner.
Despite holding a 3-0 lead at the top of the third, Waynesville's defense deflated, giving up two runs before the Lady Lakers loaded the bases and a Makinley McCaffrey hit allowed Danielle Ballard to tag up and tie the game.
The Lady Tigers again threatened to score in the top of the fifth, but Camdenton's defense managed a double play to end the inning.
In the home half of the fifth, Camdenton stole the lead after catcher Danielle Owens (Jr.) tagged for a score on a sacrifice hit from Madison Selby.
Then it all came down to the top of the seventh inning – Waynesville needed a run to tie.
Camdenton pitcher Kylee Compton struck out Waynesville's first batter, before Lady Lakers first baseman Erin Rassmussen recorded the second out.
Then, Waynesville's Sara Crum (Sr.) singled to right field to keep the Lady Tigers alive. Running for Crum, Emily Lucitt (Soph.) stole second. Katelynn Miller (Jr.) then hit a low ball to Camdenton's short stop, but the throw came in just behind the runner, missing the out at first and advancing Lucitt to third.
With a runners at the corners, Waynesville needed a good hit.
They got it with a deep fly ball to right field, but Camdenton's Hope Johns was waiting underneath to record the final out, ending the game in Camdenton's favor, 4-3.
The Lady Lakers are now 10-6 on the season, while the Tigers fell to 5-7.
Waynesville is scheduled to play in a varsity-only Springfield Tournament on Friday. Game times are TBA.
[Waynesville game stats: LP – Diamond Thomas (6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 9 K, 1 BB). Batting: Jessica Kane, 2-for-4 (2 1B, R); S. Crum, 2-for-3 (2 1B, K, SAC, RBI); K. Miller, 2-for-4 (2 1B, 2 RBI, K); Marena Coonrod, 1-for-4 (K, R).]