Lady Mustangs Open Campaign
The 2017 softball season got off to a rough start for the 2016 defending district champion McDonald County Lady Mustangs.
After dropping a season-opening 10-3 decision to Neosho on Aug. 24, the Lady Mustangs lost all three of their games in pool play of the Paige Neal/Christina Softball Tournament on Aug. 25 before bouncing back with two wins on Aug. 26 in the Bronze Bracket.
Wins over Joplin and Carthage in the Bronze Bracket gave McDonald County the ninth-place finish in the 12-team field.
Against Joplin, the Lady Mustangs scored seven runs in the second inning and five in the third on the way to a 14-2 win.
Freshman Alexa Hopkins got the win for McDonald County, allowing only a pair of unearned runs on just two hits.
Cloee Helm and Chloe Colvin led the offense with three hits each. Rita Santillan and Kenzie Stephens added two hits each while Kylie Helm, Whitney Kinser, Maddie Colvin and Hopkins all had one hit.
Against Carthage, Hopkins pitched a five-hit shutout to lead McDonald County to a 12-0 win.
McDonald County scored a run in the second, four in the third, one in the fifth and ended the game in the sixth on the run rule when the Lady Mustangs scored six runs in the top half of the inning.
Santillan, Kinser, Katie Kester and Hopkins led the Lady Mustangs with two hits each. Of Hopkins’ two hits, one was her first home run as a Lady Mustang. Also having hits for McDonald County were Cloee Helm, Maddie Colvin and Alison Nicoletti.
Neosho backed up its opening day 10-3 win over McDonald County with a 10-2 win a day later in pool play of the Paige Neal/ Christina Softball Tournament.
Hopkins took the loss, allowing seven runs (one earned) on eight hits in three and two-thirds innings. Kaylee Cornell worked the final three and a third innings, allowing three runs on four hits.
Cloee Helm had three hits to lead the Lady Mustangs’ offense while Kester had a pair of singles. Kylie Helm, Santillan, Kristen Cornell, Leslie Yousey and Nicoletti had one hit each.
Webb City rallied from a 3-1 deficit to claim a 13-5 decision in McDonald County’s second game in pool play.
Hopkins went the distance, allowing 13 runs, only six earned, on 16 hits.
McDonald County was held to six hits, including three by Hopkins, who also drove in three runs. Cloee Helm, Santillan and Maddie Colvin had the three other hits for the Lady Mustangs.
In their final game of pool play, McDonald County dropped a 17-8 decision to Blue Springs after taking an early 7-3 lead.
Kaylee Cornell took the loss, allowing 17 runs, six earned, on 20 hits in seven innings.
Kylie Helm had three hits while Cloee Helm and Kinser had two each. Santillan, Hopkins, Stephens and Maddie Colvin had one hit each, including Colvin’s
Neosho broke a 2-2 tie with seven runs in the third inning to hand McDonald County a 10-3 loss in the Lady Mustangs season opener on Aug. 24 at Neosho High School.
Hopkins allowed nine runs on six hits in two and a third innings for the loss. Kaylee Cornell finished, allowing four runs in three and two-thirds innings.
Cloee Helm, Chloe Colvin and Kaylee Cornell had two hits each while Kylie Helm, Santillan, Maddie Colvin and Hopkins added one hit each.
McDonald County, 2-4 for the season, was at Carthage on Aug. 28 before hosting Aurora tonight in its Big 8 Conference and home opener. Game time is 5 p.m.
McDonald County leftfielder Rita Santillan goes over the fence to save a home run during the Lady Mustangs’ 10-2 loss to Neosho at the Paige Neal/Christina Freeman Softball Tournament in Joplin.