Lady Wildcats reflect on positive season
Cassville softball falls just short of ultimate goal
There was no need to ask any of the Cassville softball players how they felt after the season ended with a 10-0 loss to Monett in the Class 3, District 12 championship game.
The tears on the girls’ faces told the tale and explained in detail how they felt. Yet, as the wet cheeks began to dry, a realization that the team had grown and had a great season began to sink in.
The hugs were plentiful, and the smiles began to appear as the girls took turns posing with the second place plaque that symbolized their hard work.
“These girls worked hard and were good leaders,” said Shawn Johnson, Cassville coach. “The older players taught the younger players and they wanted to get better. They were a joy to coach.”
The Lady Wildcats, all season long bounced back from adversity, and the program, according to Johnson, is now on solid footing and they can focus on winning a district title.
“We are going to have a nice little core coming back,” Johnson said. “They are very competitive. They want to win. These seniors have laid the ground work where we expect to win, we want to win and we are prepared to work to get those wins.”
As the team turns its attention to the offseason, the Lady Wildcats will focus on the fundamentals.
“You just focus on making a play,” Johnson said. “We didn’t have that tonight. When we play games, we have to be able to shake off the distractions and just go play the game.”
The tournament started with a bang for the Lady Wildcats with Josi Lone shutting out East Newton, 6-0.
Lone, Kaylee Reibert, Trinity Ewing and Adrien Lee all had two hits apiece, with Lone, Reibert, Josi Rose, Ewing, Lee and Hallie Walker all collecting a RBI.
Lone hit an inside-the-park home run to get the scoring started.
The luck ran out against Monett as the Lady Cubs displayed the discipline and poise of a team that had played for multiple district titles and capitalized on numerous Lady Wildcat errors.
The Lady Cubs used a Katie Kurima single, Maddi Coones triple and a Cassville error to take a 2-0 lead after one frame.
Taking a 3-0 edge into the home half of the third, the Lady Cubs blew the doors off and snuffed the Lady Wildcats’ hope of any rally with a crooked 6-run inning.
With the offense rolling, Monett pitcher Josie Allcock and the team defense slammed the door shut. Allcock allowed just one hit, a Lone single in the fourth inning, and a walk to Reibert in the second inning.
The Monett defense did the rest, making sure no other Lady Wildcat runner reached base safely.
The Lady Cubs enacted the 10-run mercy rule with a Kelli McCallister RBI single to score Katie Schmidt.
“Monett is a good team,” Johnson said. “You have to play a pretty perfect game to beat them. We made a few mistakes, and they turned those into runs.”
Cassville hopes next year, the tears will be on someone else’s cheek.