Kelly bounces back against Jackson; Sikeston routs E.P.
JACKSON -- The Lady Hawks of Kelly exploded for four sixth-inning runs in a 5-1 win over Jackson on Thursday.
A RBI single by Rachel Kline broke a 1-1 tie and sent Kelly up 2-1, then a bases loaded triple by Mindy Robert plated three insurance runs.
The big inning was a welcome sight for Kelly coach Rhonda Ratledge, whose team has struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities early in the season.
"We had the bases loaded in the fourth inning and didn't score, so I'm thinking, "Oh, no, deja vu all over again," she said, "then they stepped up and started hitting. That's what this team is capable of doing. Everyone of them, all the way through the lineup, is capable of hitting the ball hard."
The Lady Hawks (4-2) also came up empty with the bases jammed and no outs in the fifth. Jackson first baseman Chelsea McDowell made a lunging stab of a liner just foul to end the Kelly threat.
But in the sixth, a Lady Indian error and back-to-back singles by Brittany Ponder and Kelly Essner preceded Kline's hit and Robert's liner in the gap in deep leftfield.
Essner, the winning pitcher, allowed one unearned run, gave up two hits, struck out 12 and walked none.
Hannah Fowler took the loss for Jackson.
"I was around the plate the whole game and my riseball was working really well today," said Essner.
Ratledge, on Essner, said "We can always rely on her, along with our other starter Whitney Beggs, and the closer the game, it seems the better they throw. Kelly is a very determined pitcher and I'd put her in any situation."
Class 2 Kelly continues to battle some of the larger schools as they travel to St. Louis for the Incarnate Word Invitational today and Saturday.
SIKESTON -- Ali Blurton tossed a no-hitter as the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs ripped East Prairie 12-1 at the Sports Complex on Thursday.
Blurton allowed one unearned run, struck out seven and walked one in the five-inning mercy rule victory.
Sikeston (9-2), led by Paige Silverthorn, Molly Brinkmeyer, Blurton and Aly Friend with two hits each, struck for four runs in the first, three in the second, four in the third and one in the fourth inning.
Brinkmeyer and Blurton, both of whom doubled for the only Sikeston extra-base hits in a 10-hit attack, drove home two runs apiece, as did Friend.
"We hit the ball and ran the bases really well today," said Sikeston coach Tiffany Glastetter, "and, defensively, we had only one error."
Sikeston's junior varsity participates in the Jackson JV Tournament on Saturday and the varsity hosts Notre Dame on Monday at 4 p.m.