After a busy first week of play, the Cassville Ladycats have tallied an early season 2-4 record.
The 2006 campaign opened for the Ladycats on Aug. 21 when they travelled to Wheaton and dominated the Lady Bulldogs 10-0 in five innings.
Cassville was led by seniors Julie Cupps and Jessie Gripka who both went three-for-four at the plate. Cupps hit a home run and picked up three RBIs and Gripka tallied two doubles and three RBIs. Junior Tracy Dolis had two hits in the win.
Brittany Vollenweider was on the mound for the Ladycats and only allowed two hits on the night.
"Brittany pitched very well overall and was aided by a solid defensive performance behind her," said Coach Bonnie Cox.
Coach Cox also commented on the team's balanced offense with eight different batters combining for 13 hits and runs scored in all five innings.
"I was very pleased with the overall performance for our first game," said Cox. "We have a goal to score at least one run per inning, and we accomplished this. We also had some big two-out hits, which is a point of emphasis for us this year."
Last Thursday, the Ladycats headed to East Newton and fell 4-8, despite rallying in the sixth inning with three runs.
Defensive miscues contributed to the Big 8 Conference loss. The Ladycats committed six errors in the contest.
"We have to eliminate our throwing errors," said Cox. "We also need to develop more patience at the plate."
Several Ladycats recorded hits. Dakota Bowman had two hits and Jessica Meadows had one. Gripka, Vollenweider, Courtney Beagle and Brittney Gatley each had one hit and one RBI.
Cassville went 1-3 in the first annual Crowder Invitational.
In pool play, the Ladycats were defeated by Stafford by a score of 3-7 and by Purdy by a score of 1-2.
Against Strafford, the Ladycats jumped out to a 2-0 lead but the Lady Indians answered back and eventually took the lead in the third inning. Cassville rallied with a run in the sixth inning but could not overcome the deficit.
Cupps, Gripka, Dolis, Gatley and Meadows all went one-for-three from the plate, and Chelsea Krallman was one-for-one.
In the Purdy game, Cassville plated a run in the first inning but were unable to add any more and the Lady Eagles came away with a 2-1 win. It was a defensive battle as the Ladycats were limited to two hits and the Lady Eagles to four.
Cupps and Vollenweider had the only hits for Cassville. Vollenweider struck out nine batters from the mound.
"Our defense played well enough to win, but one run does not beat many teams," said Cox.
In bracket play on Saturday, Cassville came from behind to down Diamond 4-3.
The Ladycats trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Cupps hit a one-out single. Beagle then bunted Cupps to third, and Gripka drove Cupps in with an infield hit to tie the game. Vollenweider then loaded the bases with a single and Dolis was hit with a pitch to bring home Beagle with the winning run.
"I was proud of the girls for battling the entire game," said Cox. "This come-from-behind win should provide some confidence for a young team."
Players who had hits in the victory were Cupps, Beagle, Gripka, Vollenweider, Dolis and Gatley.
The Ladycats met Strafford for a second time in semi-final action. In this contest, Cassville was shut out and fell by a final score of 0-3.
Cox was impressed with the team's defensive effort in keeping a very good Strafford team to three runs after giving up seven in the earlier contest.
Beagle and Gatley were one-for-three from the plate, and Vollenweider was one-for-two.
A highlight of the game was when Cupps, at shortstop, tagged out two runs in a rundown. She tagged one runner out between second and third and then ran down another runner as she headed for second base.
The Ladycats play their first home game of the season next Tuesday, Sept. 5. Cassville will host Seneca in a Big 8 Conference game. McDonald County comes to town on Thursday, Sept. 7. Both games will begin at 4:30 p.m. at softball field behind the Cassville Aquatic Park.
The Cassville JV Ladycats softball team played two games last week. Both games were on the road with mixed results.
The first game was at Wheaton on Monday, Aug. 21. The varsity game had been delayed for over an hour, and the JV game was shortened to three innings. The ladycats were unable to get anything going on offense and were defeated by the Lady Bulldogs by a score of 6-0.
On Thursday, Aug. 24, the young Cassville team made the trip to East Newton. This time the Ladycats fared much better ,winning the game 10-5. Cassville scored four runs in the first, three in the second, one in the fourth and two in the fifth inning. Ariell Abramovitz led the team with two hits and two runs scored. Taylor Rowley also scored two runs with one hit. Annie Coupland had one hit and scored one run.
Single runs were scored by Chelsea Krallman, Chelsea Moore, Kelsey Munoz, Anna Rashe and Melissa Moore. Bailey Staponski had one hit and one stolen base.
Krallman and Morgan Still shared the pitching duties.