MONDAY, SEPT. 11, 2017, CHS SPORTS ROUNDUP: Tennis Lady Hornets blank Bishop LeBlond. Softball squad wins fifth-straight. Volleyball team can’t sustain strong start. Golfers improve significantly, still finish 10th at Sedalia

Lopsided victories by the Lady Hornets tennis and softball teams highlighted Chillicothe (Mo.) High School’s varsity sports action Monday, Sept. 11, 2017.
The Lady Hornets dispatched host Bishop LeBlond 9-0 in Midland Empire Conference play at St. Joseph and CHS’ diamond girls, behind the hitting and pitching of senior Molly Jones, clubbed non-conference host Lexington 12-3.
In golf, at the Smith-Cotton Invitational Tournament at Sedalia, CHS finished in 10th place in the team standings for a second-consecutive year, although its score was 24 shots lower than in 2016.
The volleyball Lady Hornets used a fast finish to the first game of their MEC home match with St. Joseph: Benton to have two cracks at victory, only to have the Lady Cardinals come back to win with some cushion.
Tennis girls on brink of MEC team title
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Although it will be more than a week before they have the chance to turn opportunity to reality, Chillicothe’s tennis Lady Hornets – the MEC’s top program over the past couple of decades – are on the brink of regaining the league crown for the first time in three years.
CHS, which has only one senior in its normal starting dual-match lineup, sailed past host Bishop LeBlond 9-0 Monday. That hoisting their league record to 5-0 and their overall record to a shiny 9-3.
The lone obstacle between Chillicothe and its 14th girls’ tennis conference championship since 1995 is Maryville, a team it won’t hook up with until the Lady Spoofhounds visit Chillicothe Sept. 19.
CHS’ and MHS’ teams already have met in a shortened tournament match which the Lady Hornets claimed, 4-1. However, because of the formatting of the lineups for that tourney, that outcome might not reflect exactly how the teams will match up in a normal dual match.
Chillicothe’s fifth league win of 2017 Monday saw only one set being competitive, although it was the No. 1 singles.
While CHS won all eight of the other pro-8 scoring position sets with loss of no more than two games, the battle between top Lady Hornet Gracy Reeter and Brennah Davies still was up for grabs until Reeter closed it out at 8-5.
Otherwise, six of the nine sets ended with Chillicothe serving the Lady Golden Eagles doughnuts.
Posting shutout triumphs for the Lady Hornets were Hannah Cypert in No. 2 singles, Hunter Keithley in No. 3, Lauren Gregory – the lone senior of the lineup – at No. 5, and Hannah Zimmerman at No. 6. In doubles, Macy Cavanah and Reeter teamed for a shutout in No. 2 play and Zimmerman and Gregory the same in No. 3.
Keithley and Cypert captured No. 1 doubles 8-2 over Liberty WIgton and Davies.
Idle Tuesday, Chillicothe will participate in the Excelsior Springs Tournament Wednesday before hosting Trenton in a dual Thursday. Trenton is one of the teams to have defeated Chillicothe thus far.
Softball girls get to quit early through snafu
LEXINGTON, Mo. — Chillicothe’s softball Lady Hornets earned their fifth victory in a row Monday, prevailing by the 10-runs-lead rule, even though, according to their head coach, they led the host Lexington Minutewomen only 12-3 after five innings.
An unrecognized mixup in the score posted on the scoreboard – it read 13-3, Chillicothe – resulted in the umpires ruling the game complete after five, Mike Jones, CHS head coach, relates. The discrepancy, which likely made no difference in the outcome, wasn’t discovered until later when the Lady Hornets coach was reviewing his electronic scorebook.
Chillicothe’s current string of wins all has taken place at Lexington, where it won a tournament this past Saturday with four victories.
CHS (9-4) didn’t face the host team during the tourney, but had plenty to subdue it Monday, even though it trailed briefly.
Lexington nicked starting and winning Chillicothe pitcher Mo. Jones (5-3) for a run in the bottom of the first inning, but that deficit quickly was erased.
A 1-out single by Laney Gaston chased Jylian Davis and Jordan Hibner home to jump the Lady Hornets ahead in the second and they’d stay there.
Chillicothe’s 3-1 lead after two innings became 5-1 in the third as the second of Mo. Jones’ three doubles on the day ignited another uprising.
The Lady Hornets grabbed the game by the throat in the fourth with four more runs. Mo. Jones’ 1-out hit – a single on this occasion – drove home unrelated Harlie Jones and younger sister Abby before an error on a ball hit by McKenna Poling and Davis’ double made it 9-1.
Two more Chillicothe 2-baggers – from H. and Mo. Jones – sparked a 3-runs top of the fifth that wrapped up the day’s scoring after Lexington had prompted the removal of Mo. Jones from the pitcher’s circle with a pair of runs in the fourth.
Statistically, CHS had a pair of batters enjoy perfect days with the stick. Mo. Jones finished four for four with three runs batted in, two stolen bases, and two runs scored. Gaston was two for two with two runs driven in and two scored.
The Lady Hornets out-hit Lexington 13-7, their fourth game in the current winning streak with at least 10. They committed a lone error.
On tap Tuesday is a Midland Empire Conference visit to Maryville for 4:30 p.m. action.
Golfers lower score, not standing, in Sedalia tournament
SEDALIA, Mo. — Although their team score was markedly better than a year ago, Chillicothe’s golf Lady Hornts had to settle for a repeat of their 10th-place finish in the 18-teams Smith-Cotton Invitational Tournament Monday.
CHS’ 410, while 101 strokes behind sizzling repeat team champion Kansas City: Notre Dame de Sion, was 24 strokes lower than what it posted in the event last fall.
Leading the way with scores in the 90s again were freshman Hallie Jones and junior Riley Brobst. After Brobst paced the team in last week’s tournament at Platte City, Jones did so this time with a 44-46–90, Chillicothe coach Bob Long reports.
The ninth grader’s round at the Sedalia Country Club nearly included an ace. Long relays that, according to coaches monitoring the par-3 seventh hole, Jones’ tee shot missed going in the cup by about four inches. She tapped in for a birdie, highlighting a round which included pars at holes No. 1, 2, and 13.
Brobst matched par on Nos. 7 and 10 on her way to a 50-45–95, continuing the lowering of her average.
Hannah Haakonstad posted consecutive pars on Nos. 2 and 3, Long points out, on her way to a 53-49–102.
Senior Jensen Simmer, making her varsity debut for 2017, but competing in the Sedalia tourney a second-straight time, trimmed 10 shots off her 2016 showing with a 56-52–108 that rounded out CHS’ scoring group. Her day was spotlighted by her own birdie on a par-3 hole, the 17th.
Chillicothe’s fifth player, Lexi Hargrave, carded a 57-56–113.
The tourney medalist, not surprisingly, was from champion Notre Dame de Sion. Megan Propeck torched the course with a 66.
Chilicothe’s golfers will play at Macon in dual competition Tuesday before hosting their own tournament at Green Hills Golf Course Thursday.
Volleyball squad loses in three again
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — For a second MEC match in a row, Chillicothe’s volleyball Lady Hornets captured the opening game, then dropped the next two, to fall to St. Joseph: Benton at the CHS gym Monday.
Down most of the time early in the opening game and behind by a couple of points three times just past mid-game, Chillicothe put on a strong finishing kick.
Gaining the lead for good when Benton had a player get in the net at 19-19, the Lady Hornets reeled off the game’s last six points consecutive, Devin Dowell serving the last five. After her ace made it 24-19, her next serve was not returned either as Benton miscommunication led to its “bump” not being set.
The game’s turning point came with Benton serving at 18-15 and threatening to gain control. Three times on that rally, Chillicothe players made sensational digs to keep the ball aloft. Finally, Ruthie Vinson’s push shot deep into the BHS court caught the Lady Cardinals crowding the net too much and landed well inside the back line for a winner that ignited a 10-1 closing rush.
Once the first game and that surge ended, the Lady Hornets never found a groove again.
In game two, they fell behind 10-6, closed to within 10-9 on Elli Ross’ serve, and then lost 10 of the next 13 rallies en route to a dispiriting 16-25 defeat.
That put the match on the line in a third game and, once more, the momentum of the previous game’s winner was erased by the 3-minutes between-games break.
Chillicothe gained leads of 5-3 and 7-6 early, Kaylee Lewis’ “dink” shot snapping giving it what would proved to be its final lead.
After falling behind 11-8 and coming back to tie, CHS lost the next two points and never caught up as the teams went through a string of mostly-alternated captured points.
Finally, after regaining the serve at 17-19 when Benton’s serve went into the net, the Lady Hornets once more inched within one when a Lady Cardinals shot went long.
However, harkening back to Chillicothe’s close to game one, Benton reeled off six of the last seven points for game and match. The Lady Hornets did not hit a winner in the last 14 rallies.
Statistically for CHS, Maggie Pfaff led the net hitting with six “kills,” while Lewis paced the net defense with three blocks. Setter Ross earned 11 assists and Catey Trout made a team-high six “digs”. Vinson’s nine winning points served were tops on the team.
Next for the Chillicothe volleyball squads will be a conference match at Cameron tonight, starting with freshman play at 5 p.m.