(Photos by Josh Mills, Staff)
"We came out and played five innings of stellar defense," said Sikeston head coach Tiffany King following the game. "I was kind of hoping that it would carry over from this weekend the way we played defense, and it did then we faltered a little bit, but the positives are we played five innings of stellar defense, when they were bunting, when they were hitting, doing the little things like that it's awesome to play that good of defense."
Offensively, Sikeston finally got things going in the fourth inning when Krystal Henson reached on a single to start the inning. Courtney Collins came into run and after Sydney Davied reached on an error Mary Deason came to the plate with runners on the corners. Deason slapped a base-hit to right field to plate Collins and eventually Davied scored on what was intended to be a sacrifice bunt by Elizabeth Raines but transformed into an errant throw. The Lady Bulldogs eventually left the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Lady Bulldogs had an opportunity to get their runs back in the bottom half of the inning as Davied laced a single down the right field line to begin the inning. Deason sacrificed her over, and with Davied standing on second base Raines was once again at the plate looking to add to their run total. Raines hit a slow roller to the first baseman who bobbled the ball and after she was forced out at first Davied tried to sneak into score but was doubled up on the play as Cape Central's catcher blocked the plate and the go-ahead run from scoring.
The momentum swung heavily toward the Lady Tigers in the top of the seventh where they reached base once again on an error and after a passed ball and a sacrifice bunt Victoria Schabbing gave Cape Central a 3-2 lead as she roped a single up the middle into shallow center field.
Sikeston went quietly in the bottom of the seventh as they picked up just their fourth loss on the season. Sitting at 5-4 the Lady Bulldogs will travel to Kelly today to take on the Lady Hawks for the second time this season.
Hopson suffered the loss despite giving up just four hits and a walk. All three of the runs were unearned for the Lady Tigers.
"I think Sarah did excellent," said King of her starting pitcher. "Cape is a good hitting team and she was a little bit upset, but there's nothing for her to be upset about. She held them to a couple of hits, it was just that things didn't go her way a couple of times."
"We had a couple of errors," she added. "It we don't have those three errors then you're not in those situations anyways. I think she pitched pretty good."
Sikeston's three hits came from Henson, Davied and Deason, who were each 1-for-3 with a single.
On the other side of the diamond, Cape Central's Amanda Nichols was awarded the victory.
Nichols gave up just three hits and one walk. Both of Sikeston's runs were unearned.
Picking up the four hits for the Lady Tigers were Emily Myers who was 2-for-2 with two singles, Schabbing who was 1-for-4 with a single and a run and Brittany Perkins who was 1-for-4 with a single. Kaylyn Bohnert also scored the winning run off the bench as a pinch runner.
Lady Tigers' head coach Amy Blattel was proud of her team's effort despite falling behind early.
"This team has been coming back," Blattel said of her comeback squad. "We're making the game harder on ourselves to be honest. We gave them a couple of runs, they put the ball in play and you have to give them credit for that. But, this group has been fighting through it and it doesn't matter how many runs we're down they've been sticking with it and trying to fight through it."
The Lady Tigers are now 6-5 on the season and their next opponent is Kelly as well.
Sikeston and Kelly square off today at 4 p.m. at Kelly High School.