The Rolla and St. James softball teams both had busy weeks this week. The Lady Bulldogs split a pair of Ozark Conference contests with a win over Hillcrest on Tuesday, before a loss at Lebanon on Thursday. St. James, meanwhile, fell to Waynesville 15-0 on Wednesday, before a tough 10-6 loss to Belle on Thursday for Senior Night.
The Lady Bulldogs kicked off their week with a 5-1 win over Hillcrest on Tuesday. Emalee Grooms provided the spark Rolla needed in the win, smacking a three run dinger in the fifth to carry Rolla to the win. Makenzie McCarter handled the pitching duties for the Lady Bulldogs, allowing one run on six hits, while striking out one and walking one. Jordan Watkins pitched in relief, allowing no hits and striking out four. Rolla had eight hits as a team in the win with McCarter and Maycie Montgomery each collecting a pair of hits. Montgomery and Reagan Reedy each drove in runs in the win.
The JV followed by running away with a 21-1 win. Riley Wassilak handled the pitching duties, striking out seven and allowing just two hits in the win. Madison Mace and Zoey Barr each drove in three runs in the win, while Callie Harmon and and Ramona Giddens each drove in a pair. Fiona Giddens and Wassilak each added an RBI of their own.
The Lady Bulldogs then lost a slugfest against Lebanon on Thursday 12-8. Rolla managed to outhit Lebanon 11-7 on the day, but couldn't quite keep pace on the scoreboard in the loss. Watkins pitched for Rolla, allowing four runs on just two hits in three innings. She struck out four, while also walking four. McCarter and Harmon each pitched in relief with McCarter pitching 2.1 innings and Harmon pitching the final two-thirds of an inning. Grooms led the Lady Bulldogs in hits with three, while Montgomery, Keira Chrisco, Lauren Moersch and Kristynn Hufford each drove in runs in the loss.
The JV won 6-4 thanks to a three-run second inning. Wassilak and Harmon each pitched with Wassilak allowing two runs on no hits with two strikeouts. Harmon allowed just one hit and walked one to finish off the game. Harmon, F. Giddens, Mace and Barr all drove in runs in the win.
The Lady Bulldogs will have three games this week. They will travel to Waynesville on Monday, before hosting Glendale on Tuesday and Sullivan on Thursday. They'll then cap off their regular season with the Rolla Invitational over the weekend.
The Lady Tigers faced off against Waynesville on Wednesday, losing by the mercy rule 15-0 in five innings. St. James managed just three hits in the loss, two of which came from Shelby Quick. Mckenzie Brennan had the other base knock for the Lady Tigers. Audrey Marcee handled the pitching duties for St. James. She allowed 15 runs, eight of which were earned, on 15 hits and three walks, while striking out eight.
St. James then faced Belle for Senior Night on Thursday. They got off to a great start with three runs in the first inning. The Lady Tigers maintained a 4-1 lead through four innings, but that lead started to slip away in the fifth. Belle scored twice in the inning and nearly added more, but a runner was caught trying to score from second on a single up the middle to end the inning. That cut the St. James lead to 4-3. Belle then eliminated that lead in the sixth. With two on and two out, runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball. One was then able to come around to score off an infield single off Marcee's glove in the pitcher's circle. That tied the game at four, before a three run bomb gave Belle the lead for good. Belle added three more runs in the top of the seventh, before St. James started to make a run in the bottom of the frame. Abbie Walton hit a two-out RBI single to keep the hope alive, before a walk that loaded the bases. Alexis Birkner came in to pinch hit for Scout Paulus and was able to reach, but Rachel Lucas attempted to go from first to third, before realizing Walton was not sent home. She was caught in no man's land for the final out. Belle won by a final score of 10-6. St. James had nine hits in the loss with seniors Mikaela Donnelly, Hunter Pitts and Quick each collecting multiple base hits. Quick also drove in a run for St. James. Marcee allowed 10 runs on the rubber, eight of which were earned, on 14 hits and two walks.
Thursday's game was a tough one to send out the St. James seniors on, but there were a lot of laughs as memories were shared after the game. Head coach Brad Purvis just hopes all of his seniors enjoyed their time with the team.
"This seven, I can't say enough great things about them....they're going to be truly missed," said coach Purvis. "I always tell the girls at the end of the season, it's not about the wins and losses, it's about the relationships that we build and hopefully the great memories that you'll carry with you throughout a lifetime. My goal for every girl that leaves this program is that they can look back and they had fun."
The Lady Tigers have two more regular season games with trips to Steelville and Crocker on Wednesday and Thursday.