Volleyball team outlasted visiting Hamilton: Penney in three games. Soccer boys blanked St. Joseph: Lafayette to square season record. Walks costly as softball Lady Hornets fell at Trenton

Monday, Oct. 14, saw two of the three Chillicothe (Mo.) HS fall sports teams in action come away victorious.
The volleyball Lady Hornets outlasted visiting Hamilton: Penney, the soccer Hornets grabbed a non-conference road win over St. Joseph: Lafayette, and the softball Lady Hornets lost at Trenton.
VOLLEYBALL
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — After seeing an up-for-grabs second game deteriorate into a clear-cut loss to tie the match, Chillicothe’s volleyball Lady Hornets flipped the script late in the deciding game, defeating visiting Hamilton: Penney in a seesaw affair, 25-17, 18-25, 25-17.
The second game of CHS’ home finale for 2019 had only a 1-point separation just past the midpoint when Chillicothe suddenly faltered at even getting the ball back across the net on Hamilton serves and the visitors rang up seven points in a row to take an effectively-insurmountable lead.
However, when the final game had much the same status at about the same juncture, it was the seniorless CHS squad (7-14-1) which went on the decisive run, eventually claiming a comfortable-at-the-end triumph and its second match victory over Hamilton this season. Chillicothe topped Hamilton in both games of their “pool play” meeting during the Chillicothe Invitational Tournament.
Chillicothe had four players with either four or five “kills” (spikes), paced by five apiece by Maya Snyder and Essie Hicks. Lucy Gaston and Gracie West produced four each. Freshman Jessi Reeter, seeing increasing use as a setter, led the passing with 10 assists, one more than Haylee Coplen, and Makayla Vance had double-digits “digs” with 10. Reeter also served five aces and Hicks three.
Hamilton coach Bradley Ewald reported Jessica Richman had six service aces and five “digs,” Brittani Wilson six “kills,” and Ally Houghton two blocks for his team.
Chillicothe’s next match will be Thursday at Maryville.
BOYS’ SOCCER
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Playing a day sooner than expected and at a location where their most-recent experience wasn’t a happy one, Chillicothe’s soccer Hornets shrugged it off and pumped some momentum into their crucial next outing.
With a Thursday home match against St. Joseph: Benton that offers them a chance to clinch at least a share of this fall’s MEC title looming just ahead, CHS’ soccer boys scored three goals in each half of a 6-0 non-conference triumph over St. Joseph: Lafayette Monday.
The match originally was to be played at Lafayette’s Alumni Field yesterday, but the football game LHS hosted on very soggy ground last Thursday rendered the field unplayable for the soccer match against Chillicothe. That meant finding a different venue.
The choice turned out to be south St. Joseph’s Spring Garden Middle School field, site of Benton’s soccer matches, including BHS’ 1-0 non-league victory over the Hornets a couple of weeks ago. However, with that field not available yesterday, the CHS-Lafayette match was pushed ahead 24 hours to Monday.
Already owning a 4-0 home win over the Fighting Irish in their conference match a month ago, Chillicothe’s triumph, the shutout, and the spread didn’t register as surprises.
Monday’s action stayed scoreless for the first half of the 40-minutes opening half, but when the Hornets (7-7-1) broke through, they figuratively quickly broke Lafayette’s back.
In the 23rd minute, freshman Wyatt Brandsgaard played a ball which junior leading scorer Mason Baxter got to and drilled past the LHS goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead.
A minute or less later, Baxter found the net again – his 17th goal of the year – off a setup by Chace Corbin and, less than two minutes after being level, the match was tilted Chillicothe’s way, 2-0.
About three minutes before halftime, Ch. Corbin added on, this time doing the finishing after a pass from junior Sheldon Rader, who – like Brandsgaard earlier – earned the first varsity assist of the season.
With CHS in firm control, the second half was mostly a formality for pushing the Hornets back to .500 for the season.
Along the way, junior Caleb Vance netted his second goal of the season – off sophomore Ben Cueni-Smith’s assist – in the 53rd minute of the match, Drake Cosgrove notched his fourth off Cueni-Smith’s team-pacing 10th assist of the year in minute No. 62, and Ch. Corbin got his second of the day and fifth of the year in the 68th minute. Cosgrove earned his sixth helper of the season on the final tally.
Hornets sophomore goalkeeper Jaxon Albertson didn’t have a lot to do in the match, being required to make only one save to earn his second 2019 and career shutout, both at Lafayette’s expense. The Irish did not even get one shot on frame against him in the Sept. 10 clash in Chillicothe.
If the CHS boys can reverse their previous defeat at the hands of Benton when they meet at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II in Chillicothe at 5 p.m. tomorrow, they’ll finish conference play with a 6-1 mark. That would assure them of no worse than sharing the league title with either Benton, Kansas City: St. Pius X, or Maryville with a very real chance each of those other squads might yet sustain second league losses that would give the Hornets the outright title.

SOFTBALL
TRENTON, Mo. — Any hope of building some notable momentum heading into their district tournament opener at Moberly today with a victory over a strong Trenton squad walked out the door early in Monday’s regular-season softball finale for the CHS Lady Hornets.
Five of the first THS Lady Bulldogs batters accepted walks from Chillicothe starting pitcher Abby Jones (3-1) and three of them scored, sending Trenton on its way to an 8-3 triumph.
Trenton (15-7) used two first-inning free passes to score one run on winning pitcher Makayla Blackburn’s sacrifice fly and then two of the second-inning bases on balls turned into runs before reliever Halle Rucker got the fire put out.
With Blackburn blanking Chillicothe (8-10) until the sixth, the home team doubled its lead in the fifth as Blackburn and Gracyn Rongey each clouted run-scoring 2-baggers.
After stifling the Lady Hornets on two baserunners through five innings, Blackburn suddenly turned shaky, but was partially bailed out by too-adventurous baserunning by the visitors.
CHS No. 9 batter Kennedy Corzette led off the top of the sixth with a double to left field and leadoff batter Sophia Luetticke, normally a slap hitter from the left side, duplicated that to put the Lady Hornets on the scoreboard.
A Jordan Hibner RBI single to center plated Luetticke and Jones’ double to deep left brought J. Hibner all the way home from first, making it 6-3 with still no outs.
However, with the Nos. 4-6 batters upcoming for CHS, Trenton executed defensively and cut down Jones trying to steal third for the first out. The bases now clean, Blackburn rediscovered her groove by inducing a foul popup and a grounder to shortstop to exit the inning still in front by three.
Teammate Chandler Lynch then made sure Chillicothe would not have a chance to tie with another 3-runs inning, rocketing a 2-runs double to left after a hit and an error in the bottom of the sixth to make the lead five runs again.
Chillicothe actually out-hit Trenton 7-6, but it received only one base on balls, while Trenton had six plus a hit batter. CHS also made two errors.
Of the change he needs to see from his team to have any chance at success in the district tournament set to begin today, Chillicothe head coach Mike Jones observed, “We need to play better as a team.”
Statistically Monday, Lynch drove in three runs and scored twice to pace Trenton. Corzette and Luetticke each stroked two hits for CHS.
The defeat at Trenton made mathematically certain that the only way Chillicothe can extend its string of winning seasons under fifth-year coach Jones to five is to place in the top three at the Class 3 state tournament.