Second Saturday: Chillicothe HS Baseball, Girls’ Soccer Squads Tourney Runnersup

Reeter Ties CHS single-match goal-scoring mark in Moberly fütbol event; Marshall its own diamond gathering April 17

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
Freshman Alijah Hibner, starting pitcher for the 2021 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS baseball Hornets in their second-round game against Clinton in the Marshall Invitational Tournament, helps his cause with a run-scoring single to left field in the bottom of the third inning. The 2-outs hit scored Mason Baxter (backround) from third base, giving the Hornets a 4-2 lead. Eventually, the game went to extra innings before Chillicothe won 8-7 on winning relief pitcher Brock Ward's single, also scoring Baxter. Chillicothe then lost 14-5 to Marshall to place second in the 4-teams, round-robin tournament.

Chillicothe High School’s girls’ soccer and baseball teams came away from their weekend tournament excursions as runnersup Saturday (April 17, 2021).

The Lady Hornets apparently, according to CHS head coach Jimmy Chapman, earned second place in the Lady Spartans Invitational at Moberly in an 8-teams event which involved each playing three times, but not in a bracketed format nor strictly in “pools.”

Eventually, based on available results and Chapman’s estimation, it appears Jefferson City: Capital City was the only team to emerge without a loss and there won the team title. Chillicothe, which won Friday, then lost to Columbia: Father Tolton Regional 6-0 and downed Moberly by the same margin behind junior Lucy Reeter’s five goals Saturday, was one of at least four teams which won twice and lost once, creating the uncertainty over the tourney’s runnerup.

At the Marshall Invitational, CHS’ baseball club took second to the host Owls when Marshall pulled away to win their tourney-ending meeting 14-5. MHS went 3-0 over the 2-days affair, CHS 2-1.

The soccer girls will host Cameron Monday at 5 p.m. (site switched from Cameron to Chillicothe), while the baseball Hornets are to meet Platte County Monday at about 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Phil Welch Stadium in the opening round of the Pony Express Tournament.


Chillicothe soccer Lady Hornets junior Claire Ripley sends the ball upfield from near the CHS goal before Lainey Maddix of Columbia: Father Tolton Regional reaches it during a Saturday morning (April 17, 2021) match in the Lady Spartans Invitational Tournament at Moberly. With CHS minus many of its regulars, due to a conflict with the ACT test and health issues, Father Tolton won this match 6-0.

With more than a dozen players absent, due to illness/injury or participation in the ACT test back home Saturday morning, a hodge-podge Chillicothe squad was easy pickings for Father Tolton Regional. Junior goalkeeper Allie Italiano was called on to make 21 saves to keep the margin to only six goals.

Once some of the missing troops arrived, the Lady Hornets mashed the host Lady Spartans with Reeter wielding the heavy foot.

With goals in the 24th, 30th, and 33rd minutes, the junior had her third “hat trick” of 2021 by intermission. In the second minute of the second half, she got No. 4 of the day and, in the 53rd minute – with still 27 minutes of match to play, she equaled Rochelle “Rock” Gillilan’s single-match record of five, done on April 12, 2009, against Kansas City: Lutheran.

The victory also saw Reeter, now at 34 career goals in only 1-1/2 seasons, notch her team-high 10th assist of 2021 on Juliann Gabrielson’s eighth tally of the season.

At the other end, Italiano was easily registering her second shutout of the tournament and sixth of the season.


The fourth Chillicothe pitcher of the game and its eventual winner, thanks to his own walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning, Hornets junior righthander Brock Ward strides into a delivery during Saturday's (April 17, 2021) game against Clinton in the Marshall Invitational Tournament. Making his first varsity mound appearance of the season, the regular CHS starting catcher got the win in his first decision by working 1-2/3 scoreless innings.

At Marshall, Saturday’s first game for Chillicothe could have been claimed by the Hornets sooner and easier, which might have created a different scenario for the subsequent winner-take-all battle with Marshall, but might easily not have been a victory at all.

After rushing in to field Wyatt Brandsgaard's 2-outs, bases-loaded swinging bunt in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday, a too-high backhanded toss at short range from Clinton relief pitcher Jake Manonya, right, sails past catcher Gage Mantonya, allowing Chillicothe (Mo.) HS baseball Hornet Griff Bonderer to slide home safely for a 7-4 Chillicothe lead. Although Clinton tied the game in the top of the seventh, leading to extra innings, Chillicothe won 8-7 in eight on a walk-off hit by Brock Ward.

Chillicothe led 4-2 after three innings and 7-4 after six, but Clinton struck for three runs in the top of the seventh to square things and wound up leaving the bases full that inning for a third time in the game.

Sophomore Brock Miller of the 2021 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS baseball Hornets powers a pitch toward right field where it went for a leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh inning of Saturday's (April 17) Marshall Invitational Tournament game against Clinton. Representing the winning run, Miller wound up stranded at third base, but Chillicothe then won the game in the eighth, 8-7.

After CHS wasted a scoring chance in the bottom half, the Hornets’ fourth pitcher of the contest, Brock Ward (1-0), short-circuited a budding Clinton Cardinals eighth-inning rally by spearing a 1-out, 2-on line drive back through the middle and flipping to second to make it an inning-ending double play.

In the home half, then, Ward followed Mason Baxter’s leadoff single and stolen base with a single poked through the hole into right field while Baxter was in the process of easily stealing third. Even with having to right himself after sliding into third, Baxter easily scored, giving Ward his second walk-off run batted in of the season. The junior, the team’s starting catcher, also ended a recent win over St. Joseph: Benton with a bases-full walk in the ninth inning.

Receiving a throw from catcher Brock Ward, Third baseman Gage Leamer of the Chillicothe (Mo.) HS baseball Hornets prepares to tag out a retreating Clinton Cardinals baserunner who'd stopped his attempt to score on a third-inning single to center fielder Wyatt Brandsgaard during the teams' Marshall Invitational Tournament game Saturday, April 17, 2021.
Playing first base for the first time as regular starter Landon Winder was not available at game's start, Griff Bonderer completes a scrambling putout of Jake Wirsig of Clinton to end the third inning of their Marshall Invitational Tournament game Saturday, April 17, 2021. With the bases loaded and playing well wide of the first-base line, Bonderer had leaped to unsuccessfully try to catch a line drive Wirsig hit, only to have second baseman Brock Miller field the ball after it sent off Bonderer's mitt. That left Bonderer to have to rush back toward first base about 20 feet while also turning to see and catch Miller's delayed throw. When he not only caught the throw cleanly, while simultaneously maintaining an accurate path to the base and then sliding to jab the base with his foot before Wirsig arrived, Bonderer and the Hornets got the tough, key out. The clutch play left the bases full of Cardinals for the first of three occasions in the game, which Chillicothe eventually won 8-7 in eight innings.

Following that fifth Chillicothe triumph in succession, the championship clash saw Marshall score in six of the seven innings, including two runs in the top of the sixth and then five in the seventh after CHS had drawn within 7-4 with a 4-runs outburst off reliever Leyton Crawford following about a half-hour rain delay.

Marshall (8-3) received a perfect game at the dish from Crawford, who was four for four with five runs batted in and three scored. He also earned the save after shifting from first base to the hill at the beginning of the bottom of the fifth after the approximately-30-minutes stoppage for a quick-moving cloudburst.