(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
BENTON -- A strong defensive effort against Kelly was spoiled Tuesday afternoon as Sikeston's offense continued its recent slump.
After allowing a single run in the second, the Lady Bulldogs were unsuccessful in their attempts to rally, falling 1-0 to bring their current skid to four games.
"Offensively I just have to have more of my batters step up," Sikeston's coach Tiffany Morgan said. "It seems like it's the same two or three girls who are hitting and we can't ever get those girls around.
"I have to find that mix that's going to produce and get those other girls around."
The lone blemish on Sikeston starting pitcher's Sydney Davied's effort came in the second, when the Lady Hawk's Jade Rampley led off the inning reaching on a hard hit ball to short.
Rampley would steal second before advancing to third on a fielder's choice back to the pitcher leaving one out with Sydney Vinyard at the plate.
Vinyard's bunt came back to the pitcher who, after a fake throw to try to fool the runner, relayed to the catcher, leaving a play at the plate in which Rampley was called safe for the go-ahead run.
"That was key, (Rampley) getting on and getting around to third," Kelly coach Melanie Heuring said. "Going in head first to home she kind of scared me doing that, but boy she's aggressive and she did what we she needed to do to get that run and luckily it worked out."
In the final five innings, Sikeston would strand seven base runners in its comeback bid, including Elizabeth Bolen.
Bolen would lead off the seventh with a single up the third base side before her pinch runner advanced to second with one out.
Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, the next batter struck out, followed by a pop up to the pitcher by Madison Chaney to end Sikeston's chance at a comeback.
"I thought we actually played really well," Davied said. "This is my first game I've gotten to start. Our defense was great, but our hitting is in a slump right now.
"I wanted that game really bad. We haven't beat Kelly since Coach Morgan's first year coaching at Sikeston."
Despite Davied not getting the win, Morgan was proud of the improvements she saw out of her pitcher.
"Sydney has shown me a lot of drive the past couple of years," Morgan said. "She's worked hard, finally gained her focus and her attitude has been totally different at the mound. She doesn't look near as nervous or shaky as she used to.
"Her change up was working good today. Sydney has what it takes to pitch."
Finishing with six hits on the contest, the Lady Bulldogs were led by Sarah Hopson and Bolen who had two hits apiece. Sikeston's other two hits came from Davied and Sarah Dixon who each had a single.
As for Kelly, the Lady Hawks had five hits with Rampley providing the majority of the offense, going 3-for-3 with singles in the second, third and six innings.
"She's hitting real well, getting her bunts down and is aggressive on the bases too," Heuring said of Rampley. "She's doing really well for a freshman."
Picking up her second win as many days, starting pitcher Kristen Powell went the full seven innings allowing no runs on six hits while walking two and striking out eight.
The Lady Bulldogs will look to snap their four-game losing streak today when they host East Prairie at 4 p.m. while Kelly will pick back up this Saturday participating in the Seckman Jaguar Softball Tournament.
Looking for an offensive spark, Morgan expects to see some fresh faces in the Bulldogs lineup in the coming days.
"Like I told the girls, I'll find somebody that's going to be able to get up there and hit with confidence," Morgan said. "What we're lacking right now is just the confidence in hitting. I have some of these jayvee girls fighting to get their varsity time.
"They'll be getting to see some more time to see what girls are going to be confident and who will step up there ready to produce."
|Sikeston||000 000 0 - 0|
|Kelly||010 000 x - 1|
WP -- Kristen Powell. LP -- Sydney Davied. Multiple hitters -- Sarah Hopson 2-3, Elizabeth Bolen 2-3; (K) Jade Rampley 3-3. 2B -- (K) Emily Grojean.
FREDERICKTOWN -- After coming back to tie the game in the seventh inning, the visiting Scott City Lady Rams finished an exciting, 4-3 come-from-behind win in the eighth against the Fredericktown Lady Cats.
Trailing 3-1 in the top of the seventh with two outs, Scott City's Alexis Spriggs and Macy Hall hit back-to-back triples with Hall's hit scoring Spriggs followed by an error by the second baseman on a hit ball by Lindsay Kern scoring Hall to tie the game.
The Lady Rams scored the go-ahead run in the eighth when, after Shelby Rhymer reached on a triple, the shortstop misplayed a shot by Melanie Lacey allowing Rhymer to score.
Besides earning the win, Spriggs was one of three Scott City's players with two hits on the game. Hall and Rhymer were the other two as both girls went 2-for-4.
Now at 6-2 on the season, the Lady Rams will host Poplar Bluff today at 4:30 p.m.
|Scott City||010 000 21 - 4|
|Fredericktown||110 100 00 - 3|
WP -- Alexis Spriggs. LP -- Godsey. Multiple hitters -- (SC) Alexis Spriggs 2-5, Macy Hall 2-4, Shelby Rhymer 2-4; (F) Williams 3-4, Mascaro 2-4, Godsey 2-4. 2B -- (SC) Hall; (F) Bellew. 3B -- (SC) Hall, Spriggs, Rhymer.