Second-Half Eruption Sends Soccer Hornets Over Top Tuesday

Win 5-2 at SJ: Benton after scoreless first half; softball girls roll on

As reported to C-T

It was a better-than-average Tuesday for Chillicothe (Mo.) HS fall sports teams with the soccer boys riding a second-half wave to a non-conference victory, the softball squad crushing another Midland Empire Conference competitor, and the cross country running teams continuing to improve their times against mostly-larger-school competition.

In a scoreless tie at halftime at St. Joseph: Benton, the soccer Hornets got a combined four goals and five assists from their senior top guns – Drake Cosgrove and Chace Corbin – to capture a 5-2 victory.

On the diamond at Maryville, the Lady Hornets shined again, racing to an 11-0 lead after 2-1/2 innings en route to dispatching the Lady Spoofhounds 13-0 in five.

While the best finishes in each gender weren’t necessarily sensational, the times of many CHS harriers were either all-time personal bests or continuing to improve, coach Jennifer Dickson disclosed, during the Smithville Invitational meet.

The volleyball girls, perhaps feeling some fatigue, succumbed in straight games at Cameron.

BOYS' SOCCER

In south St. Joseph, the tenor of the non-league meeting between Chillicothe and host Benton underwent a radical modulation after halftime.

Following a scoreless first 40 minutes, the Hornets found the BHS net twice in the first nine minutes of the second and had taken a 4-0 lead through about 27 minutes before settling for the 5-2 verdict over the Cardinals.

“Another workman-like effort by the team,” CHS coach Tim Cunningham assesses. “We stayed patient and persistent with our attack throughout the match. Our defense was once again sound with our roles and responsibilities.”

Cosgrove, seemingly zeroed in on challenging the Hornets’ single-season goal-scoring record after claiming the match mark with six in a win the previous Friday, broke the scoring ice by finishing off Corbin’s setup in the fifth minute of the second half.

Corbin, who took over the team lead in assists (10) from Sam Reeter with his three Tuesday, set S. Reeter up for a second CHS tally only four minutes after Cosgrove struck.

About seven minutes after that, Cosgrove rang up his team-high 17 goal off another Corbin assist. In a span of less than 12 minutes, the Hornets had transformed a 0-0 knot into a 3-0 cushion, and they weren’t through.

With the match at BHS’ Sparks Field into its final 15 minutes of regulation time, Corbin went from setup guy to scorer when he got to Cosgrove’s corner kick in the 67th minute. That made it 4-0, CHS.

About a minute later, Chillicothe goalkeeper Jaxon Albertson lost his shutout as Ryker Wells of the host Cardinals beat him, but, to be on the safe side, Corbin buried his 11th goal of the year off Cosgrove’s fourth 2021 helper just inside the final five minutes.

Corbin Lamb tacked on a meaningless Benton goal in the last minute, making the final score 5-2, Chillicothe.

Albertson ended the match with a  five saves.

The soccer Hornets will travel to Savannah for a league outing Thursday (Sept. 23).

SOFTBALL

Not only hitting, but with power, the CHS softball Lady Hornets (16-3, 4-0 conf.) saw 40% of their 15 hits go for extra bases, slamming three triples and three doubles, in walloping Maryville in five frames.

After plating four runs in the top of the first inning with four singles, a walk, and a MHS error, the Lady Hornets added some heft to their hitting.

No. 9 batter Jolie Bonderer doubled leading off the second and cleanup hitter Mika Hibner roped a run-scoring triple to right-center field in a 3-runs second.

With another run in during the visitors’ third, the inning mushroomed when Kinlei Boley blasted a bases-full, bases-clearing double to make it 11-0, CHS.

“We got off to a great start,” Chillicothe head coach Lee Rucker reports. “Nine different players got a hit in the game. I’m really pleased with the productivity throughout the lineup.”

Leadoff triples by Halle Rucker and Hope Helton in the top of the fourth and fifth, respectively, turned into runs, too, as Chillicothe’s scoring pace finally cooled.

The 15-hits attack made things easy for pitchers Boley and H. Rucker. By working the last three innings in no-hits manner after starter Boley had a couple of scoreless ones that included a hit in each, H. Rucker picked up her fifth win in six 2021 decisions.

“Kinlei and Halle continue to be effective in the circle and the defense has been really solid behind them,” coach Rucker remarks.

The eighth Lady Hornets softball win in succession saw Helton go three for four with three runs scored and one driven in and, right behind her, Boley also have a 3-for-4 day, but with four RBI.

Hibner had two hits and two runs driven in and sophomore Hadley Beemer, settling in more and more to a starting role, went two for three.

Next for the CHS diamond dames is scheduled to be Thursday home action against another league foe, St. Joseph: Benton.

CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING

Rather than participating in the Duane Kimble Invitational meet hosted by St. Joseph: Benton, as they have for years, at coach Jennifer Dickson’s urging, the CHS runners were entered in the Smithville Invitational, where they generally were surrounded by larger-enrollment schools’ teams and individuals.

““I think it will make us better when we hit districts after spending multiple meets racing against larger schools and faster competition,” Dickson explains the previously-unannounced schedule switch. “I’m not super interested in looking to win smaller meets.

“Faster competition pushes us to run faster and to set our goals higher .... and we definitely ran faster (Tuesday)!”

In fact, the coach reports, all 10 of the Hornets who competed – senior Stephen Parkes, juniors Logan Gregory and Clayton Savage, sophomore Austin Lyford, and freshmen Carter Shipers, Alton Keller, Cain Evans, Landyn Peterson, Cutter Parkes, and Ashton Baker – in either the varsity or junior-varsity 5-kilometers run “hit a career personal record. Not a season, not a course, but a career personal record (with an average improved time of 54.2 sec),” she praises.

Led by Evans’ 25th-place (out of 84 entrants) time of 19:36.1, the CHS boys generated a fastest-5 team score of 149 points, seventh among 11 teams and only five points away from sixth.

Evans’ time was 23 seconds faster than the champion of the Sept. 7 Chillicothe Invitational ran at Smithville.

In the girls’ division, the improvement was just as universal, relative to 2021 competition (rather than careers), there still were significant bright spots, the enthusiastic CHS coach states.

Senior Kadence Shipers placed 15th individually in 23:28.4.

“She is working hard to get down into the 22s,” Dickson notes.

With their next four all inside the 63-runners meet, the Lady Hornets produced a team score of 119, putting them fifth among seven distaff teams.

Besides Evans, the other Chillicothe boys’ times and finishes, in order of finish, were: Savage (30th, 20:01.7), Lyford (40th, 20:32.2), C. Shipers (41st, 20:35.7), S. Parkes (42nd, 20:36.5), Keller (55th, 21.30), Gregory (63rd, 22:08.2), Baker (23rd JV, 22:56), C. Parkes (34th JV, 23:52.3), and Peterson (35th JV, 23:52.4).

On the girls’ side, it was Aliyah Briner (26th, 24:32.3), Yoo Jung Lee (27th, 24:32.3), Juliann Gabrielson (32nd, 25:00.7), Alice Hurtgen (38th, 26:02.3), and, in her varsity debut, freshman Karissa Fostek (53rd, 28:12.2).

““Another fabulous evening on the cross country course, full of ‘PRs’ and exciting races!” Dickson sums up.

“Great showing for freshman Yoo Jung Lee, who improved by 90 sec to place 27th with a time of 24:32. For only her fourth 5K ever, I am so excited to watch her continue to improve, as she is one of our hardest workers.”

Kearney was the girls’ division team champion, while the host

Warriors showed the way on the boys’ side.

Next for Chillicothe’s cross country runners is next Tuesday’s scheduled St. Joseph: Lafayette-hosted meet.

VOLLEYBALL

One night after losing at home to Benton in four games at home and three days removed from playing five matches in a day in their own tournament, the Lady Hornets (6-6, 0-3 conf.) took it on the chin hard at Cameron.

The Lady Dragons took the opener rather easily, 25-16, then got a better battle in game two, taking it 25-9.

Cameron then crushed Chillicothe 25-8 to close out the match.

Statistically for Chillicothe, according to head coach Bob Long, sophomore Delanie Kieffer made a team-high 15 digs, while junior Jessica Reeter notched team highs of 10 assists and two service aces. The net offense was paced by Gracie West’s six spikes and five by Anna Fisher.

The volleyball Lady Hornets are to host St. Joseph: Lafayette in more MEC play Thursday.