PARK HILLS – Alyssa Sago and RikkiLyn Wright opposed each other during numerous high school softball battles between Bismarck and West County.
Now sophomore teammates at the junior college level, both players delivered complete game 3-hitters from the circle and home runs at the plate Thursday for Mineral Area.
The Lady Cardinals achieved their first doubleheader sweep of the season, posting victories of 18-1 and 8-0 at home against struggling St. Charles.
Mineral Area generated 18 hits overall, and tallied six times in each of the first two innings during the opener – its highest scoring output this spring.
Abbi Sampson maximized two plate appearances for five RBI. Her two-run single capped a string of four straight hits behind Lexi Adams, Marissa Worth and Desiree Thomas.
No. 9 batter Kati McCormack further highlighted the first inning with a two-run double, and added another RBI double and single to finish 3-for-3.
Right fielder Alyssa Rennick compiled four RBI, and equaled Thomas by going 3-for-3 with four runs scored for the Lady Cardinals, who multiplied their 6-0 lead in the second frame.
Sampson smashed a three-run blast over the left-center fence after Worth notched her second single. Paige Battreal singled home two more to make it 12-0.
Wright (4-2) breezed through five efficient innings, retiring 15 of her 19 batters faced. Her lone costly mistake occurred when Brianna Azevedo crushed a solo homer in the top of the second.
Mineral Area batted around for the third straight time as singles from Thomas and Sampson set the table for a three-run rally.
Rennick flared an RBI hit into right-center, and Madyson McDermott created a 15-1 margin with an infield single off the bench.
The Lady Cardinals then added three unearned runs in the fourth as two telegraphed bunts were thrown away. Belle Hargraves lasted 3 1/3 innings in defeat for the Cougars.
Wright needed only three pitches to complete the fifth. Battreal reached high to catch the final out in deep center field.
Sago singled with two runs scored, Brandi Huber singled as a pinch-hitter and Brittany Adams added a sacrifice fly in the victory.
Sampson continued her perfect offensive afternoon by going 3-for-3 in game two. The first of her two RBI doubles yielded a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and next resulted in a 4-0 difference.
Sago followed Sampson with a two-run home run in the third, and the six-run advantage presented plenty of cushion as she dominated from the circle.
Mineral Area (5-12) punctuated the outcome with two runs in the fifth as an unwise throw from third to first enabled Brittany Adams to score the clincher.
Wright launched her second home run of the spring to straight-away center with two outs in the second frame. It was her lone at-bat of game two.
St. Charles (0-10) mounted its solitary dangerous threat when Azevedo and Hannah Laehy began the third inning with consecutive singles.
Sago (1-2) responded with back-to-back strikeouts – ending with seven for the game – and Worth alertly pounced from behind the plate to glove the third out while falling to her knees.
Lexi Adams, McDermott and Thomas added singles for the Lady Cardinals, who will host Arkansas State on Saturday before resuming Region 16 play at St. Louis on Sunday.
Emily Vanhooser struck out two and allowed eight hits in the loss for the Cougars. Taylor Damico lined a one-out single in the fourth.
Sampson took over the MAC team highs with 19 hits and a .422 batting average.