(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SIKESTON -- With Sikeston senior Kayla Fodge still at the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning on Wednesday, lightning and the threat of severe weather put an end to the Lady Bulldogs' final home game of the season.
Luckily for the Lady Bulldogs a six-hit effort and an early two-run rally ensured that it would go down as a 3-0 win over visiting Saxony Lutheran.
"It's a nice win to end our home season," Sikeston head coach Tiffany Morgan said. "I told the seniors, this is your last home game and they played really well.
"We held them on defense and scored the little runs we needed to score."
Though the Lady Bulldogs stranded the bases-loaded in each of the first two innings, some good base running from Madison Chaney and a timely hit from Sarah Dixon resulted in a 2-0 cushion heading into the second.
After bunting her way on to start the home half of the frame, Chaney stole second base before advancing to third on a sacrifice from Maggie Shepherd. Taking advantage of a passed ball, Chaney came home to give Sikeston the lead.
On that same passed ball, Bayleah James was able to work her way from first base to third, where Dixon plated her on a line drive to left field.
Chaney provided the Lady Bulldogs with one more insurance run in the fourth when she took advantage of a throwing error as she tried to leg out a single, ending up all the way on third. A bunt by Shepherd brought Chaney in to make up the final.
"It seems like when we attack first the girls are much more at ease," Morgan said. "We attacked first, got those two runs scored and we scored that other little in the third inning and that was all that it took."
Helping Sikeston improve to 10-8 on the season, Chaney scored twice and reached in all three plate appearances. James, Dixon, Annie Ramey, Hanna Placek and Fodge all contributed singles to the Lady Bulldogs' cause with Dixon also drawing a walk.
Sikeston starter Paige Sailors went all six innings, allowing three and two walks while striking out three in the winning effort.
For the Lady Crusaders, Ashlynn Collier, Grace Mirly and Natalie Schlimpert had a hit each.
"We've been struggling the last few games getting our bats going and yesterday we struggled getting our defense going," Saxony Lutheran coach Tali Beaudean said. "We had a little bit of that today. Improved in some areas, but this was still a game we could have won.
"The bats are going to have to come alive for us to continue to make the strides that we were making at the beginning of the season."
While Sikeston still has a pair of regular season games with Delta and Naylor left on the schedule, they now know who they'll be facing when the Class 4, District 1 tournament opens up on Wednesday.
Seeded fourth, they'll take on the Poplar Bluff Lady Mules in the opening round at Jackson at 4:30 p.m.
With the Lady Bulldogs coming on strong as of late, including wins in three of their last four games, Morgan likes how her team is shaping up as the postseason looms.
"Being the week right before districts this is exactly right where I would like to be," Morgan said. "I'd like to get Sydney (King) back to being healthy, but I think hitting, defense and pitching we're where we need to be."
Sikeston will look to push their current winning streak to three games when they head to Delta to play the Lady Bobcats today at 4 p.m.
Saxony 000 000 - 0
Sikeston 200 100 - 3
WP -- Paige Sailors. LP -- Natalie Schlimpert.