(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston 16U Lady Dogs softball team opened the 2011 Babe Ruth 16U Midwest Plains Regional softball tournament on a positive note.
With a 10-hit performance, Sikeston defeated the Oz Rockets from Kansas 12-9, winning their first pool play game.
The game was in the fourth inning when the time limit halted play, which gave Sikeston the win.
"I think we played fantastic," Sikeston coach Robert Rodgers said. "There were some small errors on the field that were maybe just opening game jitters, but other than that, we hit and everybody stayed in the game."
Although they were down 2-0 after just a half inning of play, Sikeston's offense didn't allow that deficit to hang around long.
They scored six runs in their half of the first inning which included a two-RBI double by Sydney King. Sikeston batted through the entire 10-person lineup accumulating five hits in the inning. They never trailed again.
Kind led Sikeston with two hits, including a triple as well, and finished with four RBIs.
"Everybody hit," Rodgers said. "Even some of the girls that have been in a slump. They came out and rattled the bats. We got on top quick, which is what we wanted to do. We wanted to strike quick and get as many runs on the board as quick as we could."
Kansas scored three runs in the top of the second which cut Sikeston's advantage to just one run, 6-5.
However, their potent offense posted four more runs on the scoreboard to go up 10-5.
After pushing one run across in the third, the Rockets made it a bit interesting towards the end.
Up by four runs, Sikeston saw their comfy advantage take a hit when Kansas scored three runs in the top of the fourth. Three errors on Sikeston's part added to the Rockets' cause.
With the time limit in the back of their minds and still holding a one-run lead, Sikeston kept swinging to leave no doubt.
A single by Bailey James and a walk to Trenice Greer allowed King to drive in her last two runs of the night following her triple and give Sikeston a three-run lead.
The time limit was called shortly after.
"The girls stayed strong and didn't get down," said Rodgers. "They knew if we just got those outs the time limit was getting close. We hung in there and the girls got it done."
Paige Sailors got the win for Sikeston. Sailors pitched all four innings while giving up eight hits and two walks. She also struck out two.
"She threw a lot of strikes," Rodgers said about Sailors. "She went to the basics of just hitting the glove and letting (Kansas) hit the ball to let our defense play.
The 13 teams that made the trek to Sikeston will have pool play then move into a bracket double-elimination tournament starting Friday. Championship games will be played on Sunday.