Led by sophomores Jones and Hapes, Lady Hornets linksters posted program's best team score in 13 years Thursday (Sept. 27, 2018) as they won a dual match at Lawson 169-219. Also Thursday, softball girls lost 7-6 at Macon and soccer Hornets fell 2-0 at state second-ranked Concordia; St. Paul Lutheran

Any sports team which has a postseason/playoff component to its season naturally wants to be playing its best when that time arrives.
Chillicothe High School’s golf Lady Hornets will play in the Class 1 District 6 Tournament on their home Green Hills Golf Course today doing exactly that.
In their final regular-season outing last Thursday, with two sophomores posting career-bests, coach Bob Long’s squad completed an undefeated 2018 dual-matches slate with a 169-219 romp past host Lawson, posting CHS’ lowest dual-match team score in 13 years.
Other Thursday Chillicothe varsity sports saw a 6-3, sixth-inning lead get away from the softball Lady Hornets in a 7-6 walk-off loss at Macon and the soccer Hornets compete well against a highly-ranked Class 1 team, but get blanked 2-0 at Concordia: St. Paul Lutheran.
GIRLS’ GOLF
Chillicothe 169, Lawson 219

LAWSON — With three Lady Hornets producing four total birdies and all five lineup members having at least one par or birdie, the CHS golfers cruised to their seventh win in as many duals this fall Thursday.
Tearing up, relatively-speaking, the Hidden Valley Country Club course, Chillicothe 10th graders Hallie Jones and Gabby Hapes led the way to the best low-4 , dual-match team score a CHS girls’ golf squad has produced since the eventual state-runnerup 2005 team carded a 164 in a late-season, home double-dual against Cameron and Maryville.
Sarah Sivill’s 38 led four 2005 Lady Hornets in shooting 44 or better that day, but Jones, a 2017 state-tournament participant, topped Sivill’s tally with a 37 Thursday.
According to Long, “If not for a rocky hazard unseen from the tee box, Hallie shoots par. (36)”
On her way to her prep-career-best round, Jones birdied both holes No. 11 and 13 as the squads played the back nine of the club course. Her 37 was a massive 10-strokes reduction from her score on the course in a match there a year ago, when the CHS team posted a 211.
While Jones was eclipsing her prior career best dual-match (or 18-holes tournament equivalent) round by an impressive five strokes, Hapes was surpassing even that.
She registered a 41, 6-1/2 shots lower than her previous equivalent best of a 95 in the Chillicothe Invitational Tournament a week before.
Along the way Thursday, Hapes earned her first high school birdie, getting it on hole No. 10.
“Gabby is playing great,” enthused Long.
All three Chillicothe seniors in the lineup approached their career-low rounds, too, at Lawson.
Riley Brobst missed hers by two swings, shooting a 44 that featured a birdie on No. 11. Maddie Lamp’s 47, including parring No. 10, was one shot off her best, posted only last Tuesday at Brookfield. Hannah Haakonstad’s 48 – not needed for the team scoring total – was 2-1/2 shots above her equivalent best, set earlier this fall.
In addition to being the program’s best round since 2005, CHS’ 169 was 14 strokes better than in any of its previous 2018 duals and 7-1/2 lower than its equivalent season best (353 in the Chillicothe Invitational).
Joining in the spirit of her varsity teammates’ performances, Chillicothe’s sixth team member – freshman Saige Angst, carded a 64 at Lawson that was a handful of shots better than either of her two prior 2018 competitions.
Today’s district tournament, beginning at 9 a.m, and finishing at around 3:30 p.m., will bring together players from 13 regional schools. Several of those 13 will not have enough players (minimum of four) for a team score.
The action at GHGC will determine which two teams and which 15 additional players (including any more players who share the 15th-best score) not on one of those two teams will move on to next week’s state-qualifying sectional tournament at the Heritage Hills course west of Moberly.
SOFTBALL
Macon 7, Chillicothe 6

MACON — Five days after seeing Chillicothe use the home-field “hammer” (last at-bat each inning) to cap a huge comeback with a 5-runs seventh inning that gave CHS an 11-10 victory during the Chillicothe Invitational Tournament, Macon’s Tigerettes turned the tables Thursday.
After Lady Hornets junior shortstop Abby Jones’ 2-outs, 3-runs home run capped a 4-runs CHS top of the sixth inning and gave the guests a 6-3 lead, Macon knocked out Lady Hornets starting pitcher Halle Rucker in the bottom half as it re-tied the game.
Then, with a 6-6 score and two outs in the home seventh, the Tigerettes’ No. 9 batter – extra hitter A. Lorenzo (first name not available) – slugged a walk-off roundtripper over the center field barrier.
Surrendering that blow was reliever Mollie Ellis, who had come on to bail Rucker out in the previous frame and keep Chillicothe (10-8) tied.
“We played a pretty good game, but a few baserunning errors kept us from the win,” Lady Hornets head coach Mike Jones muses.
A. Jones’ sixth-inning blast came after sophomore catcher Lexi Walker had evened the score at 3-3 with a 2-outs single to center. Walker’s hit scored Kiley Kirkpatrick from second base.
Sophia Luetticke had opened the CHS sixth with an opposite-field hit to left. After she was forced out at second on Kirkpatrick’s grounder, a walk to Dawsyn Lightner put Kirkpatrick in scoring position.
Chillicothe had led 1-0 in the first inning, thanks to a game-starting single by Libby Adkins, a walk, and cleanup batter and extra hitter Mika Hibner’s double to deep center.
After Macon knotted it in its first inning, Kirkpatrick’s 1-out walk, Bailey Pithan’s single to right that sent Kirkpatrick to third, Adkins’ infield hit that loaded the bases, and a 2-outs walk to A. Jones put CHS in front once more.
Chillicothe didn’t score in the next three innings, a span during which Macon nicked Rucker for single runs in the third and fourth to take the lead at 3-2.
Statistically in the contest, CHS was out-hit 13-11 and made the game’s only three errors. Only one of Macon’s runs ultimately was unearned.
Individually for the Lady Hornets, while A. Jones knocked in four of the six runs, M. Hibner went three for four and Adkins and Luetticke collected two hits apiece.
The CHS softball girls’ next action will not be until a week from today (Monday, Oct. 8) when Trenton’s outstanding Grand River Conference champions are to be their home-finale guests at 4:30 p.m.
BOYS’ SOCCER
St. Paul Lutheran 2, Chillicothe 0

CONCORDIA — No. 2 in the state in Class 1 by one ranking body, the boarding school’s foreign-flavored “futball” squad was tested hard by CHS’ Hornets, but prevailed by getting a goal in each half while handing the Hornets their second-consecutive shutout and sixth of the season.
The match was scoreless until the late going of the first half.
Then, in the 35th minute – about five minutes before intermission, Simon Kifle’s unassisted shot got past Hornets senior goalkeeper Daniel Hedrick for a 1-0 SPL lead.
The Saints then doubled their margin with about 13 minutes left as Haakon Hellebust also scored in unaided fashion.
According to statistics reported by CHS head coach Tim Cunningham, Hedrick made seven saves in the match to keep the Hornets (5-9) in contention until the end.
Next for the CHS booters will be a home test from new Midland Empire Conference member Kansas City: St. Pius X Thursday (Oct. 4). Kickoff in what will be Chillicothe’s penultimate home appearance of the regular season – CHS also will host the 4-teams district tournament later in October – will be 5 p.m.
Thursday’s action at Concordia saw the junior-varsity Hornets claim victory, 2-1, with goals from Hunter Rader and Colten Johnson, relays Cunningham.