Lady Bulldogs win championship in convincing fashion over Lebanon
The Class 4 District 9 title belongs to the Rolla Lady Bulldogs.
Rolla entered as the top seed in a tournament made up of five teams from the Ozark Conference and won both of its games in dominating fashion over Camdenton and Lebanon by a combined score of 27 to 2.
Here is a look at how things shaped up in the tournament overall:
Play-in Game (Wednesday): No. 4 Camdenton Lady Lakers vs No. 5 Springfield Central Lady Bulldogs
The Lady Lakers and Lady Bulldogs had a close game where both teams fought hard in the first two innings.
Camdentons bats heated up quickly after scoring five runs to Central's one going into the end of the third inning. Camdenton added seven more runs in the fourth to get a 12-1 lead after four innings and the Lady Bulldogs picked up a solo score in the top of the fourth, but eventually fell 12-2.
The Lady Lakers went on to face the top seed Rolla Lady Bulldogs in the first semifinal that was held on Thursday.
The Lady Bulldogs of Springfield Central ended their season with a 5-14 record.
Semifinal 1 (Thursday): No. 1 Rolla Lady Bulldogs vs No. 4 Camdenton Lady Lakers
Camdenton scored a run early but Rolla took off and won the game in five innings, 12-2. The effort allowed Rolla to save more pitching for the championship.
Meanwhile, the Lady Lakers ended their year with a 6-19 record.
Semifinal 2 (Thursday): No. 2 Waynesville Lady Tigers vs No. 3 Lebanon Lady Yellowjackets
This was a reunion game of sorts as the Waynesville Head Coach came from Lebanon a few years ago to take over the program.
The Lady Tigers finished with a 13-14 mark as a team as the game was never a close one with Lebanon sending a message to Rolla Bulldogs by defeating Waynesville 24-9 in three innings.
“We felt really excited after gaining a victory over Waynesville in the semifinals. We hit the ball the way we knew were capable of all year,” Lebanon coach Stanley Crum said after the Waynesville game.
Championship (Friday): No. 1 Rolla Lady Bulldogs vs No. 3 Lebanon Lady Yellowjackets
The Lady Bulldogs defeated Lebanon 11-1 on October 3 in Rolla. Since then, the Lady Bulldogs have gone 6-3 and Friday night's game was not too difficult either with a 15-0 win in four innings.
The Lebanon girls managed to get a girl on base in the first inning but were unable to bring her in to score. The Rolla Lady Bulldogs started cold but began a hitting machine as they would bat around all nine girls and score five of them, to create a 5-0 lead.
The second inning would be a shutout again for the Lady Yellowjackets as they went down after four batters. Meanwhile, Rolla punched in three more runs to extend the lead to 8-0.
The Lebanon girls put up a bigger fight in the third inning but Rolla answered with great defensive plays Rolla batted around once again and pushed the score to 14-0 when everything was all but over in the third.
“Coming into the game with Rolla I felt like if our freshmen could handle the pressure of being in a district championship game that we could keep it close. For the second half of the season we played every game with four or five freshmen in our starting line up," Crum noted of his club. "This allowed us to gain some valuable experience moving forward.
“We took some lumps but grew tremendously throughout the process. Looking to the future, we should continue to progress towards being competitive in postseason competition.”
Rolla sophomore Makenzie McCarter was one of the Lady Bulldogs who showed some composure and it permeated throughout the lineup.
“As I went up to bat I knew I had to take every at-bat very calm knowing that the championship was on the line. As we scored more runs, our team's energy just kept going up and up and that’s when I knew we were probably going to win," she said. "After we won the game we were all just so excited because this hadn’t been accomplished since 2012.”
McCarter was 4-4 with six RBIs during the win. She had a triple, double and two singles as well as the game-winning hit to stop the game at 15 runs.
The Rolla girls will host Kickapoo on Wednesday night in Rolla for sectionals.