(UPDATES with tennis results, photo 11:30 a.m. Sept. 13) Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Monday, Sept. 12, sports recap: Volleyball girls also win; Haakonstad sharp at Sedalia golf tourney

Another last-inning victory – its third walk-off triumph already this season – by the Chillicothe (Mo.) High School softball Lady Hornets spiced a day of success for CHS varsity sports teams Monday (Sept. 12).
Down 5-0 in the third inning, the softball team came back to tie the game 6-6 in the sixth inning and then won it in the bottom of the eighth on a 2-outs, bases-loaded passed ball.
The win boosted the softball Lady Hornets’ record to 4-4 after they began last week 1-3.
Also Monday, the tennis Lady Hornets blanked visiting St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond 9-0 in a Midland Empire Conference match, the volleyball Lady Hornets bested host St. Joseph: Benton 25-16, 25-18 to advance to 8-3-1 and, behind Hannah Haakonstad, the golf Lady Hornets had one of their best performances overall so far in 2016 when they took 10th place among 16 teams in the Sedalia Invitational Tournament.

Softball girls keep late-innings magic going
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — If converted into music, the Chillicothe High School softball Lady Hornets’ recent action and results might carry the title, “Variations on a Theme.”
Over the past week, they have hit upon a successful, but highly-risky, formula – wait until the last inning to produce the winning run.
For a third time in a row – and a fourth time in 10 days, the CHS diamond girls did just that Monday. For a second-consecutive time, they threw in the wrinkle of spotting the opponent a big lead before charging back to prevail – this time 7-6 in eight innings over Lexington.
Having overcome a 6-0 deficit after five innings at Savannah last Thursday, Chillicothe fell behind Lexington’s Minutewomen 5-0 in the third inning Monday, but eventually tied it 6-6 with three runs in the sixth inning and then won in the eighth when a bases-loaded passed ball capped a hitless, 2-outs, none-on rally.
With two away and no one aboard in the home eighth, Kaylee Rucker and McKenna Poling waited out bases on balls. In a “tell” that the game would end well for CHS, senior Lillian Stover then was hit by an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. Stover’s 2-runs single on an 0-2 pitch with two outs had been a pivotal moment in the comeback win at Savannah.
With Hannah Stotts at the plate, the second pitch to her eluded the LHS catcher and Rucker sped home from third base with the game-winning run.
“We hit well and never gave up,” Mike Jones, Chillicothe head coach, praised his club after it reached .500 (4-4) the hard way.
The softball Lady Hornets will try to get above .500 Tuesday with a Midland Empire Conference home game against Maryville. Despite being only 4-4 overall, the Lady Hornets currently stand 2-0 in the MEC.
Monday’s CHS-Lexington game didn’t look to be headed toward the “wins” column when Minutewomen third baseman and cleanup hitter Alex Miller whacked an opposite-field, line-drive, 2-runs home run over the fence in right field with two outs.
When two hard-hit balls ticked off Chillicothe fielders’ gloves as part of a 3-runs LHS third inning, the outlook seemed dreary for the home club, but its self-belief – bolstered by a pair of recent walk-off triumphs and the big comeback at Savannah – shone through.
In the bottom of the third, the bad luck of the two near-outs in the top half of the inning quickly was balanced out by Lady Luck.
With two outs and no one on – sound familiar? – leadoff batter Abby Jones blooped a pop fly into shallow right-center field. The Lexington center fielder charged in and, diving, had the ball in the leather for a seemingly-outstanding catch. However, as her body hit the ground, the ball jostled in her glove and finally oozed out, leaving A. Jones with a basehit, instead of a tough-luck third out. Chillicothe then caught a break when the throw back to pitcher got away and, belatedly, A. Jones dashed to second base.
Harlie Jones then pounded a drive to deep center field on which the center fielder retreated and reached to catch on the run, only to have it go off her glove again for a run-scoring double. Had either near-catch been completed, the Lady Hornets would have headed to the fourth inning still behind 5-0. Instead, when Molly Jones’ checked-swing looper sailed just over the second baseman’s head into right-center for an “excuse-me” hit, H. Jones crossed the plate and Chillicothe was within 5-2 and “on the scent” of another come-from-behind win.
The margin narrowed to 5-3 in the fourth when Jylian Davis led off with a single and scored from second on Poling’s double up the alley in left-center.
Lexington answered in the next half-inning to make it 6-3, but Chillicothe wiped that away in its sixth.
Mo. Jones led off with her second hit and Maddie Graham and Davis followed suit, Davis’ hit driving in CHS’ fourth run.
After a groundout to second, Poling again ripped a double, this one more to straightaway left field, plating Graham and Davis to tie it up at 6-6.
Neither side scored in the seventh, but, after the Minutewomen again were blanked in the eighth, they gift-wrapped the Lady Hornets’ winning run.
Statistically, Chillicothe finished with a 12-8 advantage in hits. Each side erred only once.
“We are pitching, fielding, and hitting very well for this point in the season,” coach Jones reflects.
The Lady Hornets’ attack Monday included Poling’s three runs batted in and her, Davis’, Graham’s, and Mo. Jones’ two hits each. Davis scored twice.
Mo. Jones (3-3) pitched the entire game despite the rocky beginning. She finished five strikeouts and two walks in addition to the eight LHS hits allowed.

Netters blank Lady Golden Eagles
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — CHS’ tennis Lady Hornets continue to raise their level of play as the lightly-seasoned team increases in experience.
Monday, they boosted their MEC record to 4-1 with one match remaining by shutting out visiting St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond 9-0 at the Daryl Danner Memorial Park courts.
“Super proud of my girls!,” Chillicothe coach Amanda Marsh declares.
Only two of Monday’s nine sets found BLHS players able to win at least one-third of the games.
Most dominant for the Lady Hornets were the No. 2 doubles tandem of seniors Maelaina VanFossen and Danielle Rapp and No. 5 singles player Macy Cavanah, a freshman. Both prevailed 8-1.
At No. 6 singles, another CHS ninth grader, Hunter Keithley, claimed her set 8-2, while four of the nine sets finished 8-3 in Chillicothe’s favor. That included the No. 1 doubles in which sophomores Gracy Reeter and Hannah Cypert dispatched Nauy Bui and Katelyn Joe.
Also prevailing 8-3 were ninth graders Hannah Zimmerman and Keithley at No. 3 doubles, VanFossen at No. 2 singles, and Rapp at No. 4 singles.
In the top singles action. Reeter bested Bui 8-4 in one of the two most-competitive battles. In the other, Cypert turned back her foe in No. 3 singles.
 “I think they all played well and gained confidence going into the Excelsior Springs Tourney on Wednesday,” Marsh remarks.


Varsity volleyballers ride Parkey past Benton
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — CHS 6’ senior Katelyn Parkey dominated at the net offensively and defensively Monday, powering the volleyball Lady Hornets to a 25-16, 25-18 non-league victory over fellow Midland Empire Conference member St. Joseph: Benton.
Parkey pounded home 18 “kills” in 37 tries and blocked eight BHS spike attempts on defense as Chillicothe’s girls improved their season record to 8-3-1 with the road triumph.
While Parkey was bedeviling Benton at the net, senior Whitney Clampitt was having a very good all-around match. She produced a team-high nine “digs,” defensively, while generating eight “kills” and six winning service points.
Setters Carly Gardner and Elli Ross earned 14 and 12 assists, respectively, with senior Gardner having a very effective serving night. CHS won nine of the 12 points she began.
Yet another senior, Hannah Jones, was almost as effective behind the service line. Eight of her 10 points served wound up on the Lady Hornets’ side of the scoreboard. She also made five “digs.”
Next for the Chillicothe High spikers is tonight’s MEC home match against Cameron.

Haakonstad finds her game at Sedalia course
SEDALIA, Mo. — Sophomore Hannah Haakonstad shook off a struggling start to her season to fire one of the Chillicothe golf Lady Hornets’ best rounds this season Monday.
Entering the Sedalia Invitational Tournament with an average of 129 strokes per 18 holes, Haakonstad toured the Sedalia Country Club layout in 104, pacing the Lady Hornets to a 434 low-4 team score and 10th place finish in the 16-teams field.
“Hannah was able to eliminate the bad holes and play consistently,” coach Bob Long assessed.
Close behind Haakonstad on Monday was classmate Maddie Lamp, who followed up her 101 – the team’s second-best round thus far – in last week’s Platte County Invitational with a 106. That was almost 12 shots before her average per 18.
Lamp’s round included a par on the par-4 sixth hole, Long reported.
Rounding out CHS’ scoring quartet for the day were another sophomore, Lexi Hargrave, with a 111, and junior Hannah Sherrow, with a 113.
Sherrow scrambled to keep her score from ballooning.
“Hannah showed off her recovery skills throughout the round,” the CHS coach said.
The Lady Hornets’ fifth player, making her varsity debut, was junior Jensen Simmer. With a round that included a par on the par-3 second hole, she shot a respectable 118.
“Jensen has good distance and continues to bring it under control,” Long related. “She has been working on chipping and it paid off (Monday).”
Chillicothe’s team score was far higher than team champion Columbia: Hickman’s 320. Columbia: Rock Bridge was a close second at 329.
Individually, Amber Wilson of Camdenton tore up the course with a 68. Two Hickman players tied for second with 77s.
The golf Lady Hornets travel to Macon Tuesday, before hosting the Chillicothe Invitational at Green Hills Golf Course on Thursday.