Returning home after a tough outing in a weekend softball tournament was just what the Lady Tigers needed.
WAYNESVILLE – Returning home after a tough outing in a weekend softball tournament was just what the Lady Tigers needed.
After finishing 2-2 in the Springfield Tournament, Waynesville walloped Rolla on Monday, 14-3, though the game was tighter than the score suggests.
The Lady Bulldogs' Jade DeShurley (Sr.) and Lady Tigers' Diamond Thomas (Jr.) began the night in what was shaping up to become a low-scoring pitcher's duel.
In the top of the first, after DeShurley reached on error, Thomas allowed a one-out infield single through the left side, giving Rolla a chance to score early. But, before the rally began, Thomas drew two consecutive fly outs and ended the inning damage-free.
DeShurley then took the mound for Rolla and pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half to keep the game scoreless.
Thomas responded by striking out two Lady Bulldogs on change-ups in the top of the second, paving the way for her offense to get on the board first.
"[Diamond] struggled one inning, but she came back [and] started hitting her spots," Lady Tigers coach Kelly Jackson said after the contest. "When she's starting to hit her spots with that change-up, she can make some hitters look silly."
Waynesville's offense responded in the second inning by producing one run on an error, and another by fooling DeShurley to throw to first, which led shortstop Jordan Kane (Soph.) to steal home and gave the home team a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning, Rolla tied the game after centerfielder Anna Feeler (Sr.) dropped a two-out double to center field.
Both teams traded runs in the next two innings – Waynesville on an RBI fielder's choice and Rolla on a Kayla Reed (Jr.) RBI single to centerfield – and entered the bottom of the fifth tied, 3-3.
Then DeShurley began struggling, offering the Lady Tigers a bases-loaded situation after two walks and an infield single by Sara Crum (Sr.). That's when Waynesville's offense blew the game wide open.
"Once [DeShurley] started bringing it into the [strike]zone, we started hitting," Jackson said.
Catcher Katelynn Miller (Jr.) belted a two-RBI double off the right-center wall before DeShurley added an insurance run by walking in another, giving Waynesville a 6-3 lead. Then, with two runners still on base, C.J. Parker (Soph.) entered the game as a pinch hitter and delivered a two-RBI triple to right field, and then stole home on a wild pitch to give the Lady Tigers a 9-3 edge.
Jackson called Parker's hit "game-changing."
"We put [Parker] in there to get a big hit, and as a lefty she usually hits it to the right side of the field," Jackson said. "That's what we needed and she came through."
Rolla swapped pitchers to record the final out in the fifth, but Waynesville kept rolling in the next inning.
After adding another run early in the bottom of the sixth, Kane delivered again, this time on a walk-off three-run home run to left field, ending the game in a run rule, 14-3.
Kane finished 3-for-4 with two singles, a home run, four RBIs, three runs scored and two stolen bases.
Thomas pitched all six innings, recording two earned runs on four hits and five strikeouts.
The Lady Tigers (8-9) will now face a tough schedule, beginning with a home game against Glendale on Thursday, followed by a Rolla Tournament set for Friday; tournament times are TBA.
To succeed in the upcoming events, Jackson said her team must stay consistent at the plate.
"If our first couple girls get on base, we score," Jackson said. "If they don't, we struggle to get runs fast."
Springfield Tournament results:
Aurora def. Waynesville, 5-4 [LP – D. Thomas (7 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 5 K, 4 BB); Batting: Jessica Kane, 3-for-4 (3 1B, 2 R).]
Waynesville def. Branson, 6-4 [WP – Marena Coonrod (6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 5 BB); Alexa Ochoa, 3-for-3 (2 1B, B, 2 RBI, R, 2 SB).]
Kickapoo def. Waynesville, 6-5 [LP – M. Coonrod (5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 K, 2 BB); Je. Kane, 2-for-4 (1B, B, K, R).]
Waynesville def. Camdenton, 6-4 [WP – D. Thomas (5 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 K, 3 BB); D. Thomas, 3-for-3 (2 1B, B, 2 R, SB), Jo. Kane, 2-for-3 (2 1B, RBI, SB).]