(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
EAST PRAIRIE -- A day after coming up short in a late-inning rally against Kelly, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs wasted little time in jumping on top of the East Prairie Lady Eagles.
Stringing together two-run rallies in each of the first three frames on Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs kept the offense churning in a 13-0 mercy-rule win over the Lady Eagles in five innings.
"It was really good because we talked about yesterday how we didn't come alive (until late) at the plate," Sikeston junior Sydney King said. "Today we showed that we can come alive earlier in the game."
Already up 6-0, the Lady Bulldogs put together their biggest inning of the night in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs in the frame to put the mercy-rule in effect.
With runners on first and second, King hit a grounder up the middle to plate the first run of the inning before a Maggie Shepherd single up the third base line scored a runner from third to put Sikeston ahead 8-0.
The final two runs of the rally were brought in when Annie Ramey singled to short to score Shepherd from second, followed by a Kirsten Baker ground out to the second baseman that scored Kayla Fodge from third.
Sikeston went on to add another three runs in the fifth on four hits to make up the final.
"The good part about it was most of those were earned runs," Sikeston assistant coach Paige Silverthorn said. "It wasn't just passed balls and overthrows, we're hitting the ball hard. We hit the ball hard, put it in play and did our jobs."
In picking up the win, Lady Bulldog's starting pitcher Paige Sailors threw a complete game, retiring the side in order in three of the five frames. She allowed four hits and no walks while striking out four.
"She's hitting her spots really well, coming around with her pitches and they really looked good," Silverthorn said. "Every game she's improving and that's good to see from a freshman."
With 15 hits on the contest, Sikeston was led by Dixon, King, Shepherd and Ramey as each went 3 for 4 on the contest. Connecting for the Lady Bulldog's only extra-base hits, Dixon had a pair of doubles while scoring three runs. She reached base in all four of her plate appearances.
"I felt great," Dixon said. "I was seeing the ball and hit it well."
For the Lady Eagles, Taylor Johnston, Savanna Barker, Caitlin Harwell and Kailey Turner had one hit each.
"I think we only struck out four times so we hit the ball pretty consistent," East Prairie coach Steve Stokes said. "We just didn't hit it real hard. Overall I thought it was better than what we have been."
East Prairie's best opportunity to score came in the fourth when Johnston opened the inning with a single up the first base line. Barker and Harwell went on to hit back-to-back singles to leave the Lady Eagles with the bases loaded and one out.
Unable to capitalize, however, a strikeout and pop up to the second baseman ended the frame.
"We did get a big strikeout when we had the bases loaded and one out so our timely hitting isn't there yet I guess," said Stokes. "They try, just a lot of inexperience right now."
Sikeston (3-7) and East Prairie (0-5) will both participate in the Lady Devil Classic starting today in Chaffee.