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Prep Softball: Lady Bulldogs blitz East Carter on Senior Night

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

(Photo)
Sikeston senior Madison Chaney slides safely into second base for a steal on Tuesday as East Carter shortstop Faith Eaves tries to apply a tag at the Sikeston Sports Complex.
(Brent Shipman, Staff)
SIKESTON -- It was an emotional afternoon for the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday as they celebrated Senior Night against the East Carter Lady Cardinals.

Fittingly enough it was the same group of upperclassmen that was being honored that powered the Lady Bulldogs to an 11-1 mercy rule win.

"It's always fun to come out and win on senior night," Sikeston senior Sarah Dixon said. "It makes it a lot easier and a lot more fun. We all had a hit and played as a team today."

Making for a much more festive atmosphere, the Lady Bulldogs (9-8) were able to jump on top early as they pounded out 14 hits in the contest while scoring in each inning.

As a group, Sikeston's seniors group collected 10 of the hits, nine of which came from their top four spots in the lineup.

After three-straight Lady Bulldogs reached to start the contest, Dixon got things rolling with a single to left field that plated a pair of runs before Sydney King scored on a fielder's choice.

Back up in the second inning, both Madison Chaney and Bayleah James bunted their way on before rounding the bases to give the Lady Bulldogs an early 5-0 lead.

By the time the fifth inning rolled around, Sikeston ran away to a 10-1 lead and needed only one more run to close out the game.

That run came with a bit of a scare as King singled her way on, before going down with an apparent knee injury as she rounded first.

Forced to leave the game, King was replaced with pinch runner Myca Martin, who reached third on Dixon's grounder before taking home on a passed ball to end the game.

"The girls came through," Sikeston head coach Tiffany Morgan said. "We bunted the ball extremely well, which really helped us today and our defense was strong as well.

"East Carter got runners on and our defense held them."

Sikeston's defense, with the help of starting pitcher Madison Smith, got out of jams in each of the first two innings as the Lady Cardinals put a pair of runners on in both frames with no outs.

Each time the Lady Bulldogs forced East Carter (10-6) back into the dugout empty handed, that including getting a 6-2-5 double play to end the second inning.

"Our defense came out and played as well as our offense," said Chaney. "We just came out all-around ready and that's what we have to do every game."

Serving in her usual leadoff spot, Chaney led the Lady Bulldogs with a 4 for 4 effort at the plate that included scoring two runs and driving in another. Both King and James went 2 for 3 in the contest with King driving in and scoring a run while James scored twice.

Other contributors include Hanna Placek, with two hits, and Dixon, who had a hit and drove in three runs while drawing a walk.

"Coming out on Senior Night we knew what we had to do," Chaney said. "After our tournament last Saturday we came together as a team and I can see us doing really well form here."

After the win, Sikeston's entire senior group, consisting of Chaney, King, Dixon, James, Kayla Fodge and Kirsten Baker, were honored with an ceremony on the field.

They'll play the last home game of their career when the Lady Bulldogs take the field against the Saxony Lutheran Lady Crusaders today at 4 p.m.

"It's kind of one of those bittersweet moments," Dixon said of her final home stand. "People say it comes really fast and you really don't expect it. I started my first varsity game on this field and I'll have my last one on Wednesday."

East Carter 000 10 - 1

Sikeston 322 31 - 11

WP -- Madison Smith. LP -- Emily Neidenberg. Multiple hitters: (S) Madison Chaney 4-4, Bayleah James 2-3, Sydney King 2-3, Hanna Placek 2-2. 2B -- (S) Maggie Shepherd.