Softball Lady Hornets crush Cameron Tuesday
Top-of-order onslaught keys 13th win
While they didn’t score often, in terms of innings, the Chillicothe High School softball Lady Hornets produced a lot of runs when they did Tuesday as they blanked Cameron 13-0 in five innings of Midland Empire Conference play.
A 5-runs top of the third got the game’s scoring started and an 8-runs fourth ended it as Chillicothe won a fifth in a row, its second winning streak of that length thus far in 2021.
The streak was due to receive a stern test Thursday when Savannah – Class 3 state runnerup last year after losing to Chillicothe 10-0 early in the year, but able to rally to edge it in the district title game – ventured into town.
Tuesday had two other CHS sports programs in action, but unable to prevail. The volleyball Lady Hornets were within a point or two of victory twice in their match at Carrollton, but could not seal the deal, losing 3-2. The tennis girls, their regular lineup still incomplete, dropped a 6-3 match at Trenton.
As part of another double-digits hits attack, the top third of the Chillicothe lineup had a composite 12 plate appearances and reached base in 11 of them.
Sensational senior leadoff batter Sophia Luetticke, repeating the scorching midseason hitting pace she had last year, went four for four to push her already-lofty batting average into the .630s. She scored twice and drove in two runs.
No. 2 batter Hope Helton stayed hot, as well, going three for four with three RBI and two scored. Her average moved above .500 in the process.
No. 3 batter and winning pitcher Kinlei Boley (10-2) only had one hit, partially because she walked three times – once intentionally and later on four pitches. The one hit she had testified why she was pitched to cautiously the other times, as she slammed her second home run of the season with Helton aboard during the Lady Hornets’ 13-batters fourth.
Not to be outdone, senior third baseman/pitcher Halle Rucker went two for three with three runs driven in and sophomore Hadley Beemer had a perfect day with the bat, going two for two with two runs scored.
Boley pitched the first three of the five innings to qualify for her latest winning decision. She allowed two of the three Cameron hits – both within the Lady Dragons’ first three batters of the game. In between, H. Rucker stabbed a ball hit to her in the air and doubled the runner off first with a quick peg to classmate Mika Hibner.
H. Rucker allowed only one hit and struck out three in her two innings in the circle. Neither Chillicothe pitcher issued any walks.
At Carrollton, with recently-quarantined head coach Bob Long absent again – he was expected to return for Thursday’s home match against St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond, the Lady Hornets looked to have things under control after winning the first two games 25-17 and 25-13.
The third game saw the host Lady Trojans elevate their play, but found Chillicothe right in position to close out the victory with the score tied at 24-all. However, the next two points were grabbed by the hosts, giving them the game and extending the action to a fourth game.
Once more, the teams dueled on close terms into the late stages of the first-to-25 contest. This time, Carrollton had a 24-23 lead, meaning Chillicothe could force the volleyball equivalent of overtime by taking the next rally. However, Carrollton had its own ideas on that count and captured the point and the game, 25-23, sending the best-of-5-games match to a decisive, abbreviated (first to 15 points) fifth game.
All of the momentum and emotion on its side, Carrollton got out in front of the deciding game and didn’t have a lull, completing its big, come-from-behind triumph by a 15-9 margin.
The non-conference loss dropped Chillicothe’s season record to 2-3.
Statistically for the Lady Hornets, fill-in head coach Amy Dixon reported, Gracie West and Delanie Kieffer each pounded home nine spikes and Kieffer had a team-most four aces. Junior Jessica Reeter’s seven assists led Chillicothe with Trista Tipton right behind with six. Defensively at the net, Anna Fisher and West each made four blocks.
After Thursday’s home action against Bishop LeBlond, the Lady Hornets are hosting their annual tournament today.
Host Trenton swept the upper-lineup sets to double up the tennis Lady Hornets Tuesday, picking up a win that could benefit them come seeding time for the district tournament. The teams will meet again in Chillicothe soon.
THS’ top duo won the No. 1 doubles set 8-4 over Chillicothe’s Cami Carpenter and Bryton BeVelle, who continues to fill in for absent 3-years veteran Leah Lourenco.
In No. 1 singles, Carpenter gave Sole a marginally-tougher time, but still fell, 5-8.
Triumphant for the Lady Hornets were its No. 3 doubles combination of seniors Audrey Snider and Olivia Anderson, who won 8-2, and its Nos. 5 and 6 singles players. Izzy Garr cruised 8-1 in No. 5 play and BeVelle seized an 8-2 decision at No. 6.
In the other sets, Rylee Washburn of Chillicothe lost 5-8 at No. 2 singles, Anderson 2-8 at No. 3, where Lourenco usually is stationed, and Snider 6-8 at No. 4. Washburn and Garr were close to giving Chillicothe a second doubles set, dropping No. 2 play 7-9.
The Chillicothe tennis girls visited St. Joseph: Benton Thursday and are to go back to St. Joseph Monday to play Bishop LeBlond.