HILLSBORO — The Mineral Area College softball team was overmatched by pitchers Loren Gunnett and Chelsea Smith, and saw its losing streak increase to four games on Thursday afternoon.
Jefferson College slugged three home runs and capitalized on the Lady Cardinals’ defensive miscues to complete a convincing doubleheader sweep with victories of 8-0 and 9-1.
Mineral Area (4-5) managed just one hit during the opening contest against Gunnett, who recorded three strikeouts without issuing a walk. Emily Hanquist was stranded at third base following her double in the fourth inning.
Lady Cardinals starter Hannah Ghant worked around three first-inning walks when third baseman Tory Smith threw out Amanda Williams from foul territory after being struck in the leg by her sharp ground ball.
A misplay in right field sparked a two-run third frame for the Vikings. Chloe Wolf singled home Christina Young to begin the scoring, and a disputed call at first base enabled a second run to cross with two outs.
Wolf collected four RBI on 2-for-3 overall, and her two-run blast highlighted a five-run eruption in the fourth that created a 7-0 margin. She drew a bases-loaded walk to halt the action via run rule in the fifth.
Jett Bouckaert went 2-for-2 with a double while Holly Marko and Young scored two runs each for Jefferson. Gunnett retired her first 10 batters in earning the win.
Mineral Area generated five hits versus Chelsea Smith in game two, but missed an early scoring chance after Hanquist and Melanie Hager stroked consecutive singles in the first inning.
Bouckaert finished 2-for-3 and delivered the decisive swing with a 3-run homer in the second against MAC pitcher Kallie Federhofer, who notched three strikeouts and allowed 11 hits in defeat.
Stephanie Price added a solo shot leading off the third inning, and Kayla Taylor’s RBI single made it 5-0. Taylor punctuated her 3-for-4 effort with a double in the fifth and RBI single in the sixth.
Kayla Walters and Kayla Meier also collected two hits for Jefferson (3-4), which tallied unearned runs in the fourth and sixth inning, along with two earned in the fifth.
Hager finished 2-for-3 and scored the lone Mineral Area run following a leadoff double in the fourth. Federhofer advanced Hager with an infield hit, and Katie Bevins brought her home with a RBI ground out.
Lady Cardinals left fielder Tristan Branch made a tumbling catch near the fence for the final out of the fifth inning to extend the action.
Allyson Luce added a single for Mineral Area, which continues a long stretch of road games Saturday with a pair against Williams Baptist.