Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
WARDSVILLE — The Blair Oaks softball team might want to go bowling sometime, because the Lady Falcons couldn’t do anything but put up 10s on Tuesday.
Blair Oaks scored 10 runs on 10 hits against Osage to notch its 10th win of the season.
All of Blair Oaks’ runs in the 10-0 win came in the first two innings, when the Lady Falcons brought 17 hitters to the plate, all but three of them reaching base.
“(The goal was to) jump on the board early and have better swings than what we did last night against Versailles,” coach Sharon Buschjost said, referring to Blair Oaks’ 16-1 win Monday against the Tigers. “Our bats were just kind of dragging through the strike zone (against Versailles). We wanted to adjust to whatever the pitch speed was and to use our good swings no matter what the pitch speed was, and I thought the team looked much better tonight.”
Carli Buschjost, Hannah Schroeder and Macyn Wilbers loaded the bases on a hit-by-pitch, a single and a walk, respectively, and Sydney Wilde punched their tickets home with a three-run double to left-center. Lydia Pointer reached second on an error, Brooke Boessen walked, and Mackinnley Hamacher drove in two runs with a double to right-center.
In the second, Buschjost began the damage again, this time with a walk. Then Schroeder doubled, Payton Staggs hit an infield single, and Wilbers singled to left, driving in two. Wilde then singled to left and Hamacher, who happens to wear No. 10, drove in her game-high third and fourth RBI with a single.
Schroeder ended the game with a single, double and triple in three at-bats.
“She had great at bats, and I think she was excited to get some at-bats,” Sharon Buschjost said. “She’s been very hot this season and I think she had a game in a tournament where I think she got frustrated with herself. So I think she was excited to get back up at the plate, put together some hits.”
Blair Oaks walked four times in the four innings it batted, with Wilbers notching the first of the game on a nine-pitch at-bat.
“She should feel pretty good about her at-bats, because she certainly worked the count and made the pitcher pitch a lot of pitches to her,” Buschjost said of Wilbers. “I think she gains confidence the more pitches that she does see. I think she was wearing the left-fielder out” by fouling off so many pitches.
Though they were tough to retire at the plate, the Lady Falcons did record three outs on the basepaths in the first two innings — the first two on a double-steal that saw runners thrown out at home and third.
“There’s been some blunders on the bases that I haven’t been happy with,” Buschjost said. “So we’re going to look at some situations and put girls in baserunning situations at practice (today) and kind of refocus on that area.”
The Lady Falcons were held to just one hit between the third and fourth innings by Osage starter Skyler Smith.
“I think she was pretty relentless on that inside” part of the plate, Buschjost said. “I think eventually that kind of worked for her a couple innings maybe to where we weren’t hitting it quite as solid, but there were a lot of hard-hit balls tonight.”
Makenna Kliethermes picked up the win in the circle, striking out nine. She didn’t allow a hit in the first two innings. In the next two frames, she escaped a pair of jams, stranding five and preserving the 10-run cushion that ended the game after the fifth.
“Those are the situations that we’re evaluating with her to see how she handles” pressure, Buschjost said. “There’s different levels of pressure. I don’t rank this one as a real high level of pressure. But just to find herself in those situations to see how she handles it is a start to evaluating where she is and what potential she has for us later in the season if called upon.”
Boessen, Blair Oaks’ third baseman, left the game in the second inning when she sustained an injury during an at-bat.
“It’s a re-injury to the left shoulder, and something about this one I think hurts a little more than the last one,” Buschjost said. “So we’ll have to be very cautious with that.”
Blair Oaks (10-1) will face Jefferson City on Thursday at 63 Diamonds. The JV game will start at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity around 6:30 p.m.
In JV action Tuesday, Blair Oaks was a 10-0 winner. Meredith Eisterhold was the winning pitcher, striking out four. Tori Thurston and Cameron Dulle had two hits each, with Thurston driving in two runs.