More Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Softball, Soccer Records Tumble Tuesday

On diamond, girls win record 26th time in district opener. Booters back 10th-straight triumph

As reported to C-T
Chillicothe High School junior second baseman Bre Pithan slashes a run-scoring double toward the right-center field gap in the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday's 11-0 victory over Maryville in the Class 3 District 8 tournament quarterfinals.

nullNot that either historic accomplishment was unexpected, but both the Chillicothe High School softball and boys’ soccer record books - collective and individual –  continued their ongoing reforging.

The softball squad’s 11-0, 5-innings victory over Maryville in the first round of the Class 3 District 8 tournament at Chillicothe’s Daryl Danner Memorial Park was its 26th conquest of the season, a new CHS record. Multiple other individual and team marks continued to be reset to ever-greater heights, as they have been for the last several games.

On the Scottie Marriott Field pitch of St. Joseph: Lafayette’s Alumni Stadium, the soccer Hornets won for a team-record 10th time in succession, 3-0, behind the power-pack punch of 12th graders Drake Cosgrove and Chace Corbin and the sturdy Jaxon Albertson-backstopped defense.

While those two CHS teams were quite successful Tuesday, the volleyball Lady Hornets dropped their home finale in four games to St. Joseph Christian – 15-25, 32-30, 21-25, 16-25.

SOFTBALL

Having had their team-record 17-games winning streak snipped unexpectedly by Putnam County last week in what the weather ended up making their regular-season finale, CHS’ softball Lady Hornets simply broke another program record for successes as they began postseason play with a runs-rule shutout triumph.

Hosting lowest seed Maryville as the tourney favorite, the Lady Hornets posted their 26th victory in 30 games this fall, eclipsing the 2010 state-quarterfinalist diamond dames’ previous high-water mark of 25-5.

“It was good to be back on the field after several days off,” Lee Rucker, Chillicothe head coach, commented for local media. “I thought we were focused and ready to play.”

Potentially beginning a new string of successes they hope will stretch to six and conclude with a Class 3 state championship in a couple of weeks, the Lady Hornets completed a sweep of Tuesday’s quarterfinals-round games by the higher-seeded squads.

That almost didn’t come about as second-seeded Kirksville was sorely tested by St. Joseph: Benton, being forced into extra innings after a Benton home run tied it in the sixth inning. However, with Jordan Meng’s walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth, KHS’ Lady Tigers survived and advanced, 2-1. Ace pitcher Sophie Stuart struck out 17 and allowed only two hits.

Later in the afternoon, third seed Macon handily dispatched Richmond 6-1 behind winning pitcher Brooke Weimer’s home run and three runs batted in and No. 4 seed Savannah earned the chance to face Chillicothe a third time this season with a 3-0 win over Cameron.

The district tourney’s semifinals at Danner Park are slated for Thursday afternoon and evening with those two winners squaring off on the park’s “red” field for the crown and state-quarterfinals berth Saturday at 1 p.m.

The first semifinal game will have Kirksville taking on Macon at 5 p.m. Chillicothe and Savannah, last year’s district finalists with the Lady Savages winning and going on to take second in the state, will follow at approximately 7 p.m.

“They will be ready to play us, but I think our girls will be excited to play them, as well,” predicted coach Rucker.

Against Maryville Tuesday, Boley didn’t flirt with her second perfect game in just over a week, yet allowed only one batter to reach base.

That batter was the first batter of the top half of the first inning – Emma Schulte. She laced a solid, clean single into center field on a 0-2 offering from the CHS righthander.

After that, Boley (17-3) set down 15 Lady ’Hounds in a row – 13 on strikes – while finishing the abbreviated complete game with 50 strikes (or balls put in play) out of 59 deliveries.

“Kinlei has been throwing well and had another good outing,” coach Rucker declared.

While Maryville, as anticipated, was getting nothing going against the CHS hurler, the home team was scoring in each inning, including a 5-runs fourth which positioned it for the 10-runs-lead rule to go into effect after 4-1/2 innings.

Statistically, Chillicothe’s 15-hits attack featured 40% extra-base hits, including solo home runs from Sophia Luetticke in the second inning and Boley leading off the fourth. Kirsten Dunn Bre Pithan, Jolie Bonderer and Boley also doubled.

Luetticke drove in three runs with her two hits and a groundout and senior teammate Halle Rucker delivered a tension-lessening 2-runs single to right field with two outs in the first inning to make the opening frame a 3-runs inning.

Every batter in the Chillicothe starting lineup had at least one hit.

“It was good to see everyone making good contact with the ball,” noted the Lady Hornets’ second-year head coach.

BOYS’ SOCCER

At St. Joseph, it was another match, more goals and more milestones for the CHS booters’ prolific pair of senior scorers.

Although the Hornets scored only half as many goals as they produced in their home Midland Empire Conference verdict over the Fighting Irish last month, they still didn’t allow Lafayette to score any, while getting all three of their own tallies from the usual sensational senior sources.

Hornets attacking midfielder Corbin “rang the bell” twice – in the 24th and 32nd minutes – to reach 40 goals for his career and 21 this season.

Although exhaustive research has not yet been completed, his goal that began the day’s scoring extended to nine his skein of consecutive matches with at least one goal. That is believed to be a new team record. Hot on his heels is teammate and outside forward Cosgrove, who’s found the net in his last seven outings.

After intermission, Cosgrove converted Ben Cueni-Smith’s pass into his 26th goal of 2021 and 47th of his career, both tying former CHS stars.

Cosgrove’s tally equaled Mason Baxter’s 2019 total for second-most in a Hornets season, now trailing only Jon Kline’s 29 in 2014.

It also was Cosgrove’s 47th in his career, tying Derek Hussey for fourth spot on the CHS all-time list for career goals behind only Steven Cooper (55), Kline (51), and Baxter (51).

Corbin, in the meantime, had become only the seventh Chillicothe boys’ soccer standout to reach the 40-goals plateau for a career, joining his teammate, Jacob Rockhold, Cooper, Kline, Baxter and Hussey.

The CHS booters have numerous matches still on their docket for both stars to further elevate themselves in team annals.

Easily overlooked in the composite exploits of Cosgrove and Corbin was senior goalkeeper Jaxon Albertson’s fourth shutout of the season and third in the last four matches. That goose egg was actually exclusively due to the Hornets’ defense (backs and midfielders) denying Lafayette any shots on goal for Albertson to turn aside.

The CHS booters will host matches at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II this Thursday and Saturday.

St. Joseph: Benton, a 6-2 CHS victim at St. Joseh lasst month, will visit Thursday for the Hornets' final Midland Empire Conference match. Starting at 5 p.m., it also will be the program's annual "Pink Out" match recognizing breast cancer awareness and prevention.

On Saturday, Mexico, 6-5 loser to the Hornets in a tournament at Moberly in mid-September – a contest in which Cosgrove scored a CHS-record six times, will be in town for a noon match.

Given Cosgrove's previous successes against those two foes, there's a reasonable likelihood he could tie or break Kline's career goals-scoring record some time during either match.

VOLLEYBALL

The CHS volleyball Lady Hornets had a chance to bring their season’s record to .500 with a home win Tuesday before heading out for a last couple of road matches and then district-tournament action, but, despite winning a marathon second game, lost 3-1 to St. Joseph Christian.

After starting very sluggishly in an 11-25 game-1 blowout, the Lady Hornets (11-13) recovered and evened the match. After the second game was squared at 24-all, it went on that way – tied at 25, 26, and so on – until the Lady Hornets followed up winning the game’s 61st rally for a 31-30 advantage by capturing the next one also. That meant a 32-20 Chillicothe victory and a tie match at 1-1.

The pivotal third game was played on relatively close terms, but St. Joseph Christian’s Lady Lions closed it out at 25-21 and then had a slightly-easier time of it in the fourth game, taking it 25-16 to secure the match triumph.

Statistically for CHS, Lady Hornets second-year head coach Bob Long reports, Madison Bergan and Delanie Kieffer shared the team lead in floor defense with 19 digs apiece. On offense, Jessica Reeter earned 13 assists and Halle Hill nine, helping set up Gracie West’s CHS-most 12 “kills” (spikes) and 10 by Anna Fisher. Fisher had a couple of service aces to top the Lady Hornets as St. Joseph Christian had few problems forcing nearly every Chillicothe service point into a rally.

The Lady Hornets will journey to Maryville Thursday for Midland Empire Conference play against last year’s Class 3 state champs.