PARK HILLS — Excellent pitching helped the Mineral Area College softball team return from an unplanned hiatus to capture a key doubleheader split against Region 16 rival St. Louis on Thursday.
Kallie Federhofer and Lauren Stamp went the distance in their respective starts, and were backed by solid defense in a pair of 3-1 wins.
The momentum for the afternoon shifted toward the Lady Cardinals on the strength of a 2-out rally in the opener.
With the contest tied at 1-1, right fielder Sami Jo Horrell singled and alertly advanced to second base when a return throw to the infield skipped away in the fourth inning.
Shortstop Erin Littrell followed with a tie-breaking RBI single that was turned into a much bigger play by another St. Louis miscue.
An errant cutoff throw failed to retire Littrell at second base and bounded all the way the outfield fence, enabling the Farmington graduate to stand up and finish circling the bases.
Federhofer capped the win by retiring her final six batters after allowing a leadoff single to Maggie Wright in the sixth inning. The Archers produced five hits against the sophomore right-hander.
St. Louis briefly held a 1-0 lead after Megan Buechel and Katie McAllister opened the third inning with consecutive hits. Littrell started a key double play that limited the potential damage.
MAC answered during its half of the frame off Archers hurler Nicole Willie. Haley Stevens singled and stole second before crossing the plate as Darby Ferguson’s RBI hit glanced off the first baseman’s glove.
Singles by Courtney Massengale, Miriah Korokis and Federhofer gave the Lady Cardinals a total of seven hits.
Stamp would endure a particularly dangerous sixth inning in game two, but recorded pivotal outs under pressure to complete an 8-hitter.
Mineral Area (6-10) established a 2-0 advantage after Massengale and Littrell opened the fourth with sharp singles.
A Korokis sacrifice was thrown wildly into right field, and Chelsei Dale added an RBI ground out as a pinch-hitter.
Federhofer nearly homered when her double hit the left-center fence in the fifth. Rachel Arnold, who previously singled, tagged on a sacrifice fly from Massengale to make it 3-0.
The Archers stranded a whopping 13 runners on base, and put six of their seven leadoff batters on base. McAllister and Tory Ellis each paced St. Louis by going 2-for-4 at the plate.
Stamp finished with five strikeouts, but issued three walks in the sixth. Taylor Green scored on a misplayed ground ball that extended the inning.
Stamp buckled down to win two separate 9-pitch battles, fanning opposing starter Katie Harper with one out before escaping the jam on Sarah Goris’ fly ball to left fielder Jessy Wallace.
St. Louis (2-11) loaded the bases again in the seventh. A routine ground out sealed the Lady Cardinals’ second twinbill sweep of the season.
St. Louis CC 001 000 0 - 1 5 2
Mineral Area 001 200 x - 3 7 1
W - Kallie Federhofer 7ip 1r 1er 5h 1k 2bb.
L - Nicole Willie 6ip 3r 2er 7h 2k 0bb.
St. Louis - Sarah Goris 1-1, Maggie Wright 1-2, Nicole Willie 1-3, Megan Buechel 1-3, Katie McAllister 1-4.
Mineral Area - Miriah Korokis 1-1, Erin Littrell 1-2, Haley Stevens 1-2, Darby Ferguson 1-3, Courtney Massengale 1-3, Kallie Federhofer 1-3, Sami Jo Horrell 1-3.
St. Louis CC 000 001 0 - 1 8 3
Mineral Area 000 210 x - 3 6 1
W - Lauren Stamp 7ip 1r 0er 8h 5k 4bb 1hp.
L - Katie Harper 4ip 3r 1er 5h 1k 1bb.
St. Louis - Tory Ellis 2-4, Katie McAllister 2-4, Emily Arl 1-1, Taylor Green 1-2, Megan Buechel 1-2, Robyn McIntosh 1-3.
Mineral Area - Haley Stevens 1-2, Erin Littrell 1-2, Rachel Arnold 1-2, Courtney Massengale 1-2, Kallie Federhofer 1-3, Darby Ferguson 1-4. 2b - Federhofer.