Oran Lady Eagles glide by Scott County Central in opening round of district tournament
ORAN, Mo. — The road to defending the district title is underway for Oran after overwhelming Scott County Central on Monday, May 9.
The Lady Eagles (12-5, 3-1 Scott-Mississippi) won 16-0 in a three-inning game over the Bravettes in the opening round of the MSHSAA Class 1 District 2 Tournament at Oran High School.
“We came out and took care of business,” said Oran coach Jim Eftink. “That’s the approach I hope we take with us the rest of the way. The games will only get tougher from here on out.”
Sophomore Lily Knotts earned the win after registering strikeouts on seven of the nine outs. She pitched three scoreless and hitless innings and walked just one batter.
“[Knotts] made some real good pitches when she needed to,” Eftink said. “She was hitting her spots, and her changeup and curveball were really working today.”
Sophomore Bralynn Morgan recorded the first run of the game when she scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the first inning.
Oran increased the lead to 9-0 before Scott County Central could escape the inning.
The Lady Eagles’ runs came when freshman Caroline Brashear scored on a bases-loaded walk, freshman Kendall Burger scored on an error, junior Taylor Hobbs singled and senior Hope Woodfin scored, junior Delaini Bryant scored on a bases-loaded walk, Hobbs scored after a batter was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, senior Rylee Boshell singled and Morgan and sophomore Sophie Bryeans scored and Woodfin singled and senior Kaitlyn Fouts scored.
“They’re all buying into what we’re going to try to do the rest of the way,” Eftink said. “They have their sights set on getting through this district, but they know it’s going to take doing all the little things that add up.”
Oran added three more runs in the bottom of the second inning to extend the lead to 12-0 after Hobbs tripled and Bryant scored, Bryeans singled and Hobbs scored and Boshell doubled and Bryeans scored.
The Lady Eagles inflicted the mercy rule in the bottom of the third inning after senior Lydia Tankersley scored on an error and Knotts, Morgan and freshman Kaylee Williams scored on a bomb to the centerfield wall from Boshell.
Boshell finished the day 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and six RBIs. The standout senior continued her incredible season that includes a .700-plus batting average and a 17 consecutive hit streak earlier in the year.
“[Boshell] is the hottest hitter I have ever seen,” Eftink said. “She’s just red hot.”
Oran, the sixth-ranked team in Class 1 according to the Missouri High School Softball Coaches Association, will face Delta (7-5, 2-1 Scott-Mississippi Conference) in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10.
The Ladycats won 18-0 over Campbell (3-10) in their opening-round game.
“We have practiced and practiced, more than any team I’ve seen before,” Eftink said. “We could never get into a rhythm this season because of all the rain, but I’m excited to see what this team can do.”
Scott County Central ended the season with a 1-9 overall record and 0-3 mark in the Scott-Mississippi Conference. Like many other teams, the Bravettes struggled to consistently get on the field this season due to the weather.
“We got better this season, but it was a challenge with all the rain we’ve had,” said Scott County Central coach Tim Carlisle. “Every last one of them gave it 110 percent. They did what we asked them to do and they asked questions if they didn’t understand something. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to coach.”
The team took some lumps this season but will return a considerable amount of experience with just one senior on the roster. The team has just two juniors and the rest of the squad is underclassmen.
“Being so young, we still are making some mental mistakes that can be fixed,” Carlisle said. “I’m optimistic about next season. It might take some time but we’re going to put it all together.”
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W—Lily Knotts. L—Madalynn Carlisle. 2B—Rylee Boshell (2). 3B—Taylor Hobbs. Multiple Hits—Boshell 3-3, Hobbs 2-2, Bralynn Morgan 2-3.