FARMINGTON — It’s the first year of the Mineral Area Activities Association softball conference with six MAAA schools involved, and already, with still three games to play for most teams, the Farmington Knights have clinched at least a share of the crown with their 10-4 win over the North County Lady Raiders.
The win knocked the Lady Raiders out of contention, and the Fredericktown Lady Cats with their evening’s loss also fell from the hunt. Only the two senior teams of the conference, Central and Ste. Genevieve, have a chance of catching Farmington for a possible tie.
Kristen Hayes got things started for the Knightettes with a lead-off single in the bottom of the first inning. Two batters later, Meghan Halbrook drove in Hayes with a double to centerfield. The run looked to be all that was needed as Farmington’s Jessica Brewer and North County’s Kim Still seemed to have everything under control from the mound.
A two-base error in the second inning allowed Molly Currington to reach second base, and a passed ball and a ground-out scored the freshman for Farmington.
North County came right back in the top of the third inning with a single by Ann Boyer and a single by Jessica Martin to drive her in. The Lady Raiders did not reach third base again until the sixth inning.
Meanwhile, Farmington scored two more runs in their half of the third inning. A walk to Allison Eller and a single by Halbrook that resulted in another North County loose ball and Eller scoring was backed up by a RBI ground out to score Halbrook.
In the fifth inning, the Knightettes scored three more runs. Eller was able to reach first base on a strike three in the dirt, and was advanced around to third base on a single by Halbrook. Halbrook was 3-4 on the day. Eller then scored on an infield grounder, and an error on the throw allowed Halbrook to also score.
Marissa Hoehn would have taken care of the two runners on her next at bat as she drove the ball deep for a triple. Currington came up with a single to score Hoehn.
A walk and a fielder’s choice set up a run-scoring double by Natalie Fraley and a run-scoring ground-out by Ashley Janis to score the last runs for North County in the top of the sixth inning. A passed ball scored the third run of the inning to make the score 7-4.
Farmington got all three runs back in the bottom of the inning as a single by Hayes, a walk by Eller, and a fielder’s choice filled the bases which gave Nikki Warden a RBI when she walked. Warden drove in three runs in the game without a hit.
A single by Currington, who was 2-4 in the game, scored a Farmington run and another North County error allowed the 10th run to score for the Knightettes. North County achieved two baserunners in the top of the seventh, but Brewer got the last batter to ground out for the win.
Brewer struck out five batters and allowed seven hits and one walk for the win. Still had eight strike-outs and allowed nine hits and three walks in the game.
Farmington will play next in the St. Vincent Tournament on Saturday. North County will be at Union on Monday.
Lady Rebels return to win column
POTOSI — The Central Lady Rebels put an end to their two-game losing streak on Thursday, with a much-needed conference road win at Potosi. A combination of clutch hitting, and a well-pitched game by Dylan Gibson paced the Lady Rebels to a 10-1 win over the Lady Trojans.
Central scored two unearned runs in the opening frame against Potosi hurler Robyn Pashia, who pitched pretty well early on. Niki Rhodes led off the game with a single. The next batter, Corinne Currington reached on an error. Rhodes scored on a RBI ground out by Megan Keller.
A RBI double by Casey Cassidy sent Currington home for a 2-0 Lady Rebel lead. The advantage grew to 3-0 in the second when Ashley Usher scored on a wild pitch after drawing a walk.
Potosi made things interesting with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs, the Lady Trojans used a walk to Amanda Boyer, and a Central error to mount a rally. Jessyca Sexton came through with a line-drive single to left, bringing in Boyer to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Walks were the culprit that allowed the Lady Rebels to pull away in the fifth. Six bases on balls helped Central score four runs without the benefit of a hit. Kayla Mabery drove in the first run of the inning with a fielder’s choice. Rhodes, Gibson, and Keller each picked up RBI on bases-loaded walks.
Central polished off its offensive outburst with three more tallies in the seventh inning. Cassidy once again delivered the big hit. Her second double of the contest was good for two RBI, and a 9-1 lead for the Lady Rebels. Potosi’s fourth error of the game allowed the final Central run to cross the plate.
Gibson rebounded well from a tough outing on Wednesday to strike out nine, while scattering just two hits and four walks. Pashia gave up five earned runs over four and one-third innings in taking the loss.
Cassidy went 2-5 with three RBI, while Rhodes was 2-4 to lead the Lady Rebels. Keller and Amie Carver also had hits for Central. Potosi’s two hits on the day came from Sexton and Liz Stewart.
Central (6-6) is currently in a tie for second place in the MAAA Conference standings with their 4-3 record, along with Ste. Genevieve. The Lady Rebels will host the Lady Hunters on Tuesday. Potosi (3-10) will host Salem this afternoon.