When these high school softball rivals meet, the contest is seldom dull, the scores are usually close and it's always competitive.
True to form, Monday's matchup ended in dramatic fashion with the Notre Dame Lady Bulldogs escaping with a 2-1 win over the Kelly Lady Hawks.
"It's always very competitive with them," said Kelly coach Rhonda Ratledge, "which is good because it makes for a good game and you want to play hard and play good teams like this at the end of the year because three more games and we're in districts."
Lady Bulldog Kristain Burger's walk-off solo home run was the difference, evening the season series between the two squads at 1-1. With two outs, two strikes and the score deadlocked in the bottom of the eighth inning, the sophomore first baseman's blast over the right-centerfield wall broke up a 1-1 pitchers' duel between Lady Hawk senior Kelly Essner and Lady Bulldog sophomore Miranda Schlosser.
"I just wanted to make contact," said Burger, of the opposite field shot, her second homer this season. "It's always been a big competition between Notre Dame and Kelly and we always come out really revved up and we just wanted to make it the best we could because it's our seniors' last (home game) night."
Notre Dame coach Jeff Graviett said, "I'd been talking to these young girls about stepping up all day and Miranda (Schlosser) stepped up on the mound and Kristain (Burger) got the big hit with two strikes and a senior pitcher on the mound. She's been swinging the bat well for us. She (Essner) was staying away from her, but that's how Kristain is maturing as a hitter; she picked up on that and went that way with it. When I saw the flag blowing out toward right center, I didn't think there was much doubt."
Essner, the losing pitcher, allowed four hits -- Burger had two -- with 10 strikeouts and two walks, while winning pitcher Schlosser gave up three hits, struck out one and walked none. Schlosser had a perfect game going until an error in the fifth and didn't allow a hit until the sixth. Kelly (16-6), with Essner and a solid defense holding Notre Dame (17-5) scoreless after a first-inning run, tied the score in the seventh.
Rachel Kline led off with a single up the middle, then reached second on an infield error and advanced to third on a groundout. With two outs, an errant throw on Kristin Harper's grounder scooted past the first baseman and plated Kline home with the game-tying run.
Essner and Stephanie Hency split the other two Kelly hits, while Alana Weissmueller and Cortney Ostendorf had a hit apiece for Notre Dame.
Both teams had failed scoring opportunities throughout the game. A Notre Dame runner was thrown out at the plate in the third and a Kelly runner was nailed at home in the sixth. "It was a nice win, but a little disappointing that we had opportunities early to go up two or three on them, but didn't execute," said Graviett. "They're a quality ballclub, it's just a matter of time before they're going to put something together."
Kelly has, however, been a bit snakebit in extra-inning contests, dropping four of five this season.
"The odds are not good for us in extra innings," said Ratledge.
But the game lived up to its billing.
"When you put two solid clubs together, it's going to be a battle," said Graviett.
Kelly goes on the road for a 4 p.m. game with Poplar Bluff today.
CHAFFEE - The Sikeston softball team improved to 13-4 on the season with a 15-1 rout of Chaffee on Monday.
Sikeston scored four runs in the third and eight more in the fourth to take a 12-0 lead.
Chaffee cut the lead to 12-1 in the bottom of the fourth only to see Sikeston come back with three more runs in the fifth.
Sikeston's Molly Brinkmeyer threw five innings, allowing three hits, one walk with six strikeouts.
Paige Silverthorn led the way on offense, collecting four hits with a double and two RBIs. Erin Wibbenmeyer went 3-4. Others were Brinkmeyer (2-4, RBI, 2B), Allison Blurton (2-4, 2 RBIs), Aly Friend (2-4, 2B, 3 RBIs), Julie Annesser (1-3, 2B), Beth Ziegenhorn (1-4, 2 RBIs) and Barbara Hobbs (2-2, RBI).
"The girls took a couple innings to get used to the pitcher but once we did we started getting some hits," said Sikeston coach Tiffany Glastetter. "Friend had a huge hit in the 3rd inning and that got us going when she cleared the bases with double. The girls are coming around on hitting, we've been focusing on that. They've been executing well. The whole lineup was hitting well today. You could've stuck anybody in the three or four hole and they would've hit."
Sikeston will host East Carter today at 4 p.m.
DELTA - The Delta Lady Bobcats softball team improved to 13-8 on the season with a 1-0 victory against visiting Clearwater.
Sarah Cook was the winning pitcher with two hits, one walk and six strikeouts.
Jenny Dannenmueller, Shea Smith and Krystal Burnett each had one hit to pace the Delta offense.
The Lady Bobcats scored their lone run in the second inning when Sara Blattel drew a bases loaded walk to bring home Dannenmueller.
Delta left seven runners on base in the game.
"We really struggled at the plate," said Delta coach Laura Brown.
Delta will host St. Vincent today at 4 p.m.
CHARLESTON -- In a match featuring several close scores, undefeated Charleston prevailed, 6-3, over Sikeston in girls tennis on Monday.
"It's exactly what I expected," said Charleston coach Mitch Baker. "I knew they'd come over here ready to play and I was just hoping that our girls would be able to step up to the challenge. Sikeston is a good team. They're very athletic and they play hard every single paint. That was a very good win." Charleston (10-0) won three doubles matches and the first singles competition, the No. 4 match, to take an early 4-0 lead, but the Lady Bulldogs came battling back with three straight singles wins to close the gap to 4-3.
The Lady Bluejays then won the No. 5 singles, on a tiebreaker, and the No. 6 singles to claim the match. "We had a great match today for both teams," said Sikeston coach Lynne DeWitt. "The girls played hard and we improved since the last time we played."
Sikeston was swept 9-0 by Charleston earlier in September.
Charleston's junior varsity defeated Sikeston 7-2.
Sikeston (3-6) travels to Fredericktown today, while Charleston hosts Poplar Bluff on Thursday.
1. Jenni DeWitt (S) def. Kara True, 8-1.
2. Chelsea Gilliland (C) def. Kamyia Sager, 8-3.
3. Tess Marshall (C) def. Kati Luehmann, 8-6.
4. Laura Burton ((S) def. Brittney Bohannon, 8-1.
5. Rebecca Rolwing (S) def. Emily Bowman, 9-8 (8-6 tiebreaker).
6. Ashley Shands (S) def. Jessica Colwick, 8-3.
1. True/Sager (C) def. DeWitt/Gilliland, 9-7.
2. Luehmann/Shands (C) def. Bohannon/Bowman, 8-2.
3. Burton/Rolwing (C) def. Marshall/Colwick, 8-4.
JV winners: (singles) Allison Defield (C) def. Hallie Lambert, 6-1; Lindsey Burke (C) def. Ali Fox, 6-3; Jessie Duenne (C) def. Ellie Hensley, 6-2, Jade Schwieger (C) def. Danielle Ahlfield, 6-2, Mary Kate Renaud (C) def. Jessica Kruger, 6-0; and Elizabeth Ann Moxley (C) def. Lamechia Armstrong, 6-4. (doubles) Lambert/Fox (S) def. Burke/Jennifer Rolwing, 6-2; Elizabeth Matthews/Kayla McKenzie (C) def. Ellie Hensley/Adrienne Angelos, 7-5; and Ahlfield/Armstrong (S) def. Emily Dugan/Tara Triplett, 6-1.
SIKESTON - The Sikeston junior varsity football team tied with visiting Blytheville on Monday, 8-8 at SPS Stadium.
Sikeston (1-2-1) broke the shutout with a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 4:40 left in the game.
But Blytheville came back and answered to tie the game before the end of regulation play.