Sikeston (2-1), after a shaky defensive effort in Friday's loss, bounced back with a stellar showing against Fredericktown (1-1).
"We got on top early and our defense stayed strong," said Lady Bulldog coach Tiffany Glastetter. "It was great. The girls really turned it around and played ball like we've been asking them to (play)."
In the first inning, Sikeston used five timely hits and took advantage of three Fredericktown errors to score all four of its runs.
With one out, Julie Annesser grounded to shortstop but reached on a throwing error, advancing to second on the overthrow. Paige Silverthorn then singled, sending Annesser to third.
With runners at the corners, Allison Blurton singled up the middle to drive home Annesser. When the ball was misplayed by the centerfielder, Silverthorn scampered home with what proved to be the gamewinner.
Beth Ziegenhorn was safe on a bunt attempt on another Lady Cat miscue, allowing Blurton to come home with the third tally while Ziegenhorn moved to second.
The next batter, Aly Friend, then lashed a two-run double to left field to push the Lady Bulldogs to a 4-0 lead.
"We hit when we needed to hit and bunted when we needed to bunt," said Glastetter, whose team managed but one hit after the first inning. "We couldn't get anything going after that."
Fredericktown, a game opponent, scored its lone run in the third and had baserunners in nearly every frame, but the clutch pitching of Blurton combined with a near-flawless defense -- one error -- rebuffed each threat.
Blurton picked up the complete-game win while allowing five hits, striking out nine and stranding eight Lady Cats. In five of the seven innings, usually with runners in scoring position, she rang up the final out via the strikeout.
Said Glastetter, "I keep telling her that she's one heckuva' pitcher and this game should prove that to her."
On her ability to escape jams, Blurton said, "I have a good pitching coach and I just remembered what I've been taught in those situations."
Added Blurton, "I'm feeling great about this team. We have a good team this year and an awesome coach. I'm excited."
In the nightcap, Sikeston's junior varsity fell to Fredericktown 6-1 in three innings.
Sikeston hosts Chaffee today at 4 p.m.