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Another Profitable Tuesday for Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Sports Teams

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News

While the biggest headline was being made by the tennis Lady Hornets, as they dramatically won their district team championship, other 2020 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS fall sports squads were making positive news themselves Tuesday (Oct. 6).

The cross country running squads handled the heat and hills well in the Excelsior Springs Invitational meet, producing three individual medalists, even without their top female runner of the season.

The volleyball Lady Hornets gained a second home, non-conference victory – this time in straight games – in as many nights and the softball Lady Hornets, fresh from clinching at least a share of the Midland Empire Conference title the night before, started building a new winning streak with a non-league triumph at Unionville.

Volleyball Lady Hornets made it back-to-back home wins Tuesday

Hosting St. Joseph: Lafayette in a match which did not count toward the MEC standings – the teams’ previously-postponed league competition at St. Joseph will occur in a couple of week, the Chillicothe spikers eliminated any slumping stretch and battled their way to a 25-16, 25-20, 25-21 triumph that squared their season ledger.

Statistically, Hicks again was highly effective in multiple roles. She had team-mosts of 13 spikes and 12  “digs,” as well as seven winning service points.

Snyder and Reeter earned 14 assists apiece with Snyder leading the serving with 11 points won that she started. She also had five “digs” and five “kills.” West supplemented the net offense with eight “kills,” while Kieffer provided eight “digs.”

“The Lady Hornets showed their exceptional athleticism with 43 digs on the evening,” Long pointed out.

After hosting Savannah in a conference match Thursday, next on the CHS volleyball docket is to be Monday road action at Hamilton.

Kadence Shipers ignored conditions to place 12th in harrier meet

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS — Junior cross country runner Kadence Shipers shrugged off the return to warmer weather and a challenging course to earn 12th place in Tuesday’s Excelsior Springs Invitational meet. She ran a 24:03, more than a minute off her personal-record (PR) time established a couple of weeks earlier, but very respectable for the up-and-down, golf  course terrain and the less-beneficial weather.

“Huge run for Kadence,” CHS coach Jennifer Dickson assessed.

Even with top Lady Hornet Aliyah Briner missing a second meet in a row, Chillicothe managed to have a pair of girls and a boy earn meet medals with top-30 finishes, Dickson reported.

Sophomore Juliann Gabrielson’s 25:45 got her 26th place, while senior Hayden Simmer was 27th among the boys in 20:22.

Noteworthy was that Tuesday’s meet saw Shiper’s younger sister Emily able to make her competitive debut after fulfilling training requirements, following a late decision to join the sport.

Even though her time was only 32:48, her mere presence gives the Lady Hornets five team members now. If all get on the course at the same time, that will let CHS be able to generate a team score in meets. Given the quality of the top trio of young veterans Briner, K. Shipers, and Gabrielson and the solid progress being made by sophomore Kaylynn Cranmer, the Lady Hornets would figure to have a decent team showing in the upcoming Midland Empire Conference meet on Oct. 20.

Cranmer finished in 28:56 at Excelsior Springs.

On the boys’ side, freshman Austin Lyford and sophomore Clayton Savage ran within sight of each other most of the race with Lyford finishing ahead of his teammate for the first time in 22:11. Savage ran a 22:44.

Rounding out the Chillicothe boys’ lineup were Gavin Funk with a 25:48 and Kade Simmer with a 30:42.

Lauded coach Dickson, “It was a hot, hilly course with a lot of runners, but they persevered. Most of them ran their fastest times on that course, despite the heat.”

Chillicothe’s cross country teams are at Kearney today for that always-large meet that will wrap up their invitational-meet schedule.

They’ll follow it with a week-plus of hard training for the MEC Championships at St. Joseph, followed by a 10-days prep for the state-qualifying district meet.

Softball Lady Hornets’ quick response set up 6-2 win over Putnam County

UNIONVILLE — CHS followed Monday’s meaningful league triumph with a 6-2 non-conference win at Putnam County Tuesday.

Uncharacteristically blanked by PCHS pitcher Ingersoll (first name not available) through four innings, Chillicothe’s offense roused after the host Lady Midgets took a 2-0 lead against starting and winning pitcher Kinlei Boley (8-2) in the bottom of the fourth.

An error that let Bre Pithan reach second base began the Chillicothe fifth. By the time the inning ended, the 2-runs deficit had become a 2-runs lead.

H. Rucker singled Pithan to third and Luetticke’s grounder to the second baseman scored Pithan as the batter was retired at first.

A double to center field from sophomore Hope Helton plated H. Rucker with the tying run and Boley’s hit to right-center gave the Lady Hornets the lead for keeps. With two outs, sophomore Kirsten Dunn pounded a double to deep left, plating Boley for the 4-2 advantage.

“We faced some adversity when they got a couple of hits and took a 2-0 lead,” Chillicothe head coach Lee Rucker shared. “I was proud of our team for responding with four runs in the next inning.”

Following a scoreless sixth, the Lady Hornets (12-5) padded their margin

With two outs and none on, Boley pulled a double to left, Hibner raked a 2-bagger to deep right-center, and Dunn pulled a double to the left-center field alley, making the lead 6-2.

With that extra room, coach Rucker lifted Boley from the pitcher’s circle, presumably to save her at least a few pitches for Friday’s battle with Benton.

H. Rucker came on and worked around a leadoff single, helped by a double play on a fly ball to left fielder Ellis, who had just moved there from right. That gave the junior her second save.

Statistically, Dunn’s three hits led a 12-3 Chillicothe hits advantage. H. Rucker, Boley, and Hibner added two each.

All five extra-base hits in the game were CHS doubles, led by Dunn’s pair.

Younger Chillicothe football squads balance books with Lafayette

Three nights after St. Joseph: Lafayette’s varsity team rejected Chillicothe’s hopes of victory on the Fighting Irish’a field, CHS claimed a combined freshman/junior-varsity contest 30-6 on its turf Monday.

The mostly-freshman Hornets established a halftime lead of 14-0 as Cayden Larson’s 4-yards run completed a 75-yards game-opening march and quarterback Alex Gamblian sneaked over from three yards away in the second period after another Larson-laced drive. A Gamblin-to-Javon Kille conversion pass after the opening TD provided the other two points.

With more junior-varsity-level players becoming involved after halftime, Lafayette dominated ball possession in the third period and scored a touchdown late in it to pull within 14-6, Chillicothe lower-levels head coach Aaron McQuinn reports.

The fourth period then was overwhelmingly Chillicothe’s.

After a strong CHS drive fell short of points, a bad LHS snap that put the Irish back inside its 15 led to a punt.

According to McQuinn, Chillicothe’s offensive line of James Griffin, Carson Rhodes, Lucas Reynolds, Cooper Murphy, and Carter Crawford crushed the Irish defense up front, allowing sophomore fullback Brock Miller to pound the ball inside the tackles and eventually score on a 3-yards run. Slotback Ben Pithan ran for the conversion and 22-6 CHS lead.

After a deep kickoff by James Mathew caused Lafayette’s next possession to begin at its own 2-yard line, Hornets sophomore defensive back Ruger Cox intercepted a deep pass of Lafayette’s first snap from there, giving the Chillicothe offense a short field to cover.

It did so in a few plays as sophomore quarterback Landon Winder found Miller for a 25-yards touchdown throw. Frosh Hagan Atchison ran for another conversion, completing the scoring.

The victory continued a strong CHS season at the sub-varsity levels.