Dutchgirl nine end season in district opener

Will Johnson

SULLIVAN — A wet, wild Wednesday.

That would be the best way to sum up Owensville Dutchgirl softball’s MSHSAA Class 3, District 9 tournament opener last Wednesday night at Sullivan High School against Southern Boone’s Lady Eagles.

Playing in a light, steady rain at Bank of Sullivan Ball Park on the SHS campus, John Bunch’s Dutchgirls jumped out to a 7-3 lead behind a four run top of the third inning.

Southern Boone answered with a nine-run bottom of the third before going on to end Owensville’s season at 9-17 after handing the Dutchgirls a 17-7 loss in five innings.

Able to play in spite of the rain on Sullivan’s turf infield, OHS took advantage of two walks, a hit batter and a single to draw first blood against the Lady Eagles.

Ella Wright led off taking one for the team on a hit-by-pitch. Mackenzie Hoffman then drew a walk before Ella stole second.

Chloe Sooter kept the line moving with a single to load the bases for Dutchgirl clean-up hitter Julie Wright.

During Julie’s at-bat, Ella Wright scored on a passed ball that also allowed Hoffman to advance to third base and Sooter to go to second.

Julie eventually recorded a RBI ground out doubling the Dutchgirl lead to 2-0 before Southern Boone took their first turn at the plate in the bottom half of the first inning.

Pitching around a walk and a hit batter, Owensville starting pitcher Kaylee Abney kept the Lady Eagles off the board.

Looking for more offense in the top of the second, the Dutchgirls got a good start with a leadoff single from sophomore catcher Mackenzie Rademacher.

Taking advantage of being able to use a courtesy runner for either the pitcher or catcher, Madison Steever came in to run for Rademacher.

Steever scored later in the inning to bump the Dutchgirl lead to 3-0.

A walk, two errors, a hit batter and a single turned into three runs for the Lady Eagles allowing them to tie the game at 3-3 after two innings.

Owensville came right back in the top of the third inning to reclaim the lead from Southern Boone.

Helping her own cause, Abney doubled and scored after Caelie Horstman bunted her way on base. A throwing error on the play allowed Abney to cross the plate while Horstman wound up at third base.

Now with a 4-3 lead, Owensville turned to Rademacher to start a two-out rally.

Delivering an RBI single scoring Horstman, Rademacher extended the inning to senior Alli Dintelman.

Running the count full, Dintelman drew a walk from the number nine spot in the line up.

Ella Wright drew a two-out walk putting two runners on base for Hoffman.

Finding real outfield grass, Hoffman recorded a two-RBI single allowing Steever and Dintelman to score giving the Dutchgirls a 7-3 lead going into the bottom of the third inning from a soggy Sullivan High School.

“We were manufacturing runs and putting together offense in the early going,” Bunch said. “

Also battling Mother Nature throughout the night, Southern Boone turned a number of Dutchgirl miscues into runs during the bottom half of the third inning.

Once the Lady Eagles sent 13 batters to the plate, nine of them scored on four hit batters, four hits, two errors and a walk for a 12-7 lead after three innings of softball.

Unable to get a runner on the  base paths in the fourth and fifth innings, Owensville saw Southern Boone score twice in the fourth and three times in the bottom of the fifth ending their season at 9-18.

“We both played in the same conditions and they just happened to come out on top,” Bunch said.

As it turned out, it was the last high school softball game for the Dutchgirl senior trio of Sierra Koelling, Dintelman and Hoffman.

Southern Boone went on to fall to Helias (Jefferson City) the next night in the district semifinals by a score of 2-1.

Sullivan won their 10th straight district title edging Helias 3-2.

Ashley Crump’s Lady Eagles will host the Osage Lady Indians today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m., at Bank of Sullivan Ball Park.

Postseason selections for the Four Rivers Conference and the Class 3, District 9 Tournament have been selected and will be released following the conclusion of Sullivan’s softball season.

In Class 2 softball, Fatima will host Blair Oaks in another sectional contest today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m.