DAR ROUNDUP: Nik Rowland's first-half hat trick lifts Poplar Bluff soccer in home opener

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Poplar Bluff's Matt Burcham (11) heads the ball against Murphysboro (Ill.) on Tuesday at Mules Stadium in Poplar Bluff, Mo. (DAILY AMERICAN REPUBLIC/Brian Rosener)

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Nik Rowland had a hat trick before halftime Tuesday as the Poplar Bluff soccer team won its home opener 4-0 against Murphysboro (Ill.) at Mules Stadium.

Rowland also had an assist on Wyatt Rowland's second-half goal while Juan Ventura, Alex Ketcherside and Daniel Orozco-Lozano each had an assist for the Mules (3-3).

Rowland had a pair of goals in a game last year as a sophomore among his five total.

"Just kind of got in a groove," Mules coach Rusty Crafton said. "Got him the ball in space behind him a lot, he got there and made things happen."

Justin Moses made eight saves for his third shutout in six games as the freshman keeper matched Poplar Bluff's shutout total from last season.

"He's getting better game by game, that's all we can ask," Crafton said. "Back line, again, we're improving game by game. They need to talk just a little bit more but they're playing out quicker, they're getting rid of the ball, they're not playing with them on the back so I'm happy they're getting better."

The Mules were coming off a fourth-place finish at the Notre Dame Soccer Fest tournament in which they were shutout for the first time by Carbondale (Ill.) on Saturday.


SOFTBALL

Neelyville 2, Naylor 1

The Neelyville softball team took advantage of two errors and used heads up base-running when it mattered most to narrowly escape with its first Ozark Foothills Conference victory of the season Tuesday over rival Naylor.

In the top of the first inning, the Lady Tigers executed a double steal with Lexi Nippe taking home. Emily Dollins stole second and later scored as Makenzi Davis reached on an error to give Neelyville (2-2, 1-0 OFC) a lead it never relinquished.

Nippe and Dollins both went 1 for 4 and Tori Harlow was 1 for 3. Paige Reinbott started and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on four hits. She struck out five and walked three to get the win.

Van Buren 11, Dora 1

Jennifer Morey belted a triple, Brooke Jackson doubled and drove in a run and the Lady Dawgs cruised past the Falons on the road.

Morgan Shockley went 2 for 4 with two RBIs while four other players added at least one of Van Buren's 10 hits. Jalynn Morgan hit a double and tossed a 3-hit, complete game victory in the circle. The junior struck out two with no walks and did not allow an earned run for Van Buren (6-3).


BASEBALL

Twin Rivers 13, Bloomfield 0

The Royals scored three times in the first inning and never looked back, drawing 10 walks and getting a strong pitching performance from Preston Martin in a five-inning victory at Bloomfield.

"It feels good to get back to winning," Twin Rivers coach Jared Stockton said. "We still only had five hits. They gifted us some with some walks and errors, but a win's a win and we'll take it."

Martin needed just 53 pitches to get his first complete game shutout. The sophomore struck out three, walked one and hit a batter in his second career start.

"I just came out and tried to throw strikes, get groundballs and outs," Martin said. "It was just a matter of mixing my stuff up to keep them guessing."

Martin was working in front throughout, as the Royals (4-3) wasted no time jumping on top of the Wildcats (0-8), scoring three times on a hit, three walks and an error.

Leadoff man Jackson Siebert was hit by a pitch to open the game and stole second. Jamie Robards drew a walk and both runners moved up on Zac Hardin's groundout before scoring on Tanner Ledbetter's two-run double to the gap in left-center field. Ledbetter took third on a passed ball during the next at-bat and came around to score an a throwing error for a 3-0 advantage.

Neelyville 14, Puxico 4

Tyler Lowe blasted a triple and five other players hit doubles as the Tigers blasted the Indians in five innings en route to their third straight win.

Carter Petty, Chaney Trout, Wyatt Moon, Nathan Akers and Naoh Burton all doubled as Neelyville (6-2) scored a run in every inning. Burton, Moon, Trout and Lowe each had two RBIs while Moon scored three times in the win.

Three pitchers combined on a four-hit game as Austin Ennis started and struck out four while allowing two hits in two innings. Warren Griffin gave up a hit and two unearned runs in an inning of relief, and Carter Petty allowed two runs (one earned) on a hit in two innings.

East Carter 11, Eminence 1

Cody Hampton, Jordan Douglas, Alex Kearbey and Matt McLean led a doubles barrage as the Redbirds run-ruled the Redwings on the road.

Hampton had a big day at the plate and on the mound, going 2 for 3 with two RBIs and pitching a complete game. Hampton struck out eight, walked three and allowed an unearned run on five hits for East Carter (8-2).

Clearwater 7, Ellington 4

Fynn Cooper was a perfect 3 for 3 at the plate, with a triple, two doubles and two RBIs as the host Tigers scored six unanswered in a come-from-behind win over the Whippets to remain unbeaten.

Karson Fay, Heath Ayers, Tanner Wilkins, Gage Keller, Trey Rivas and Christian DeGroff each had a hit for Clearwater (5-0).

Tanner Wilkins got the win, pitching 1 1/3 innings of relief. He walked three and only gave up a hit. Cooper closed out the game with three strikeouts and a hit in 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball.

Bernie 10, Campbell 0

Gavin Brown pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed two hits and three walks with five strikeouts in the shutout win for Bernie (8-0). Dalton Hobgood had three of the Mules' 10 hits. Weston Comstock and Mason Mayberry added two hits each and Weston Zoll finished with three RBIs.


VOLLEYBALL

Malden 2, Clarkton 0 (25-7, 25-21)

Lexi Campbell had four kills and Tanner Miller finished with 30 assists as the Green Wave swept the Reindeer to remain undefeated.

Anna Belcher chipped in six digs, Gracie Thomas had six blocks and Madi Earnheart finished with two aces for Malden (6-0).

Twin Rivers 2, Greenville 0 (25-15, 25-15)

Brooke Blume hammered nine kills as the Lady Royals disposed of the Lady Bears in the conference home sweep.

Katelyn South recorded seven kills, 17 digs and two blocks for Twin Rivers (5-1). Catey Hester had 18 digs, Katie Baxter added six blocks, Britni Wyrick contributed eight digs and Hannah Phillips chipped in 18 assists.

Poplar Bluff 2, West Plains 0 (25-20, 25-22)

Kiley Bess had a career-high 11 kills as the Mules won at West Plains.

Hannah Vaughn had 19 assists as Khelie Spence and Sophia Rowland each had four kills. Doni Everts chipped in two kills and a block while Haley Slaughter had the lone ace for the Mules (3-2).

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