Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
WARDSVILLE, Mo. — The Eugene softball team only batted in four innings Thursday against Warsaw, but when the Lady Eagles did come to the plate, they didn’t leave much white space in the scorebook.
Thirty-four Eugene batters stepped in the batter’s box in those four frames, as the Lady Eagles defeated Warsaw 17-3 to advance to the Class 2 District 9 championship.
“The girls, their bats have really come alive in the last little bit, and they’re just more confident out in the batter’s box,” Eugene coach Jess Adrian said. “They’re just playing some strong ball right now.”
The Lady Eagles batted around in the first and fourth innings. All nine batters had a hit, and five had at least two. In addition to its 15 hits, Eugene took advantage of 10 Warsaw errors.
“We’ve played Warsaw before, and didn’t come out near as strong as what we did tonight,” Adrian said. “So right now we’re really playing probably our best ball that we’ve been playing all season.”
In the first inning, Eugene scored eight runs on five hits, a walk and three errors. Rachael Surface and Carissa Boessen each had two-run singles.
The Lady Eagles added a run in the second when Surface doubled, stole a base and scored on an error. Eugene stole nine bases in the game and took five bases on wild pitches, including two runs.
“We like to be aggressive out there,” Adrian said. “It just kind of depends on who we play from night to night if we play a little bit safer or if we try to advance some runners and that kind of stuff.”
The Lady Eagles scored two runs on three hits in the third, singles from Boessen, Maddy Lepper and Tavia Matthews.
In the fourth, Eugene added six runs on six hits, including a streak of four singles from Tori Adrian, Allison Isenberg, Boessen and Lepper.
Lexi Dickerson got the win, allowing one earned run on three hits and five strikeouts.
“She’s coming off of being sick for a couple weeks,” Jess Adrian said. “So she’s coming out and she’s just keeping getting stronger and stronger. I look for her to do some great things on Saturday.”
The Lady Eagles face Blair Oaks for the district championship at noon Saturday. Blair Oaks defeated Russellville 7-1 in a semifinal game Thursday.
“They’re going to be tough competitors for sure,” Adrian said. “I came and watched a little bit of their game trying to figure out some strategies and stuff, but I think it should be a really good ballgame between the two of us.”