(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Rallying for four runs in the third inning on Wednesday, Sikeston broke out of an early 2-2 tie with the Rose Hill, Kan., Raptors before pulling away to win 13-2 in the opening game of the 14U Babe Ruth Midwest Plains Regional Softball Tournament at the Sikeston Sports Complex.
"We had a little mishap there that gave (Rose Hill) a couple runs," Sikeston coach Mike Helms said. "But we didn't drop our heads, we stayed in the game and stayed focused.
"We just kept on playing, shut it down and played good."
Tied at 2-2 after the Raptors scored two, second frame runs to erase an early deficit, Sikeston was able to open the fourth with No. 10 hitter Sydney Newell drawing a walk.
Next to bat, Tiffany Gilman put Sikeston ahead for good with a drive to left field scoring Newell. Watching the left fielder misplay the ball, however, an alert and hustling Gilman was able to come around and score on the same play to put Sikeston up 4-2.
Sikeston scored again when Rose Hill allowed a passed ball, allowing Taylor Pyland to come home from third, followed by Andrea Burks crossing the plate to cap the rally on an error by the first baseman.
Putting plenty of distance between them and the Raptors, Sikeston once again batted around the order as part of a seven-run fifth to go up by the final of 13-2.
The game was called after five innings due to the time limit and mercy rule.
"We really hit the ball well," Helms said. "The score was kind of big, but (the Raptors) made some really good plays or we could have had a few more runs. They really played good defense and we hit the ball well."
Leading Sikeston's eight-hit performance, Ricki Tidwell and Burks had two hits each, including a triple by Burks.
Torrie Helms picked up the win going all five innings of the contest. She allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out five.
"One of her best games of the year actually," coach Helms said about his hurler. "She hasn't been pitching a whole lot for us, but she really stepped up tonight and helped us out big time. She really came through in the clutch there."