March 18 Central Methodist University at Sedalia
The State Fair Community College (SFCC) Lady Roadrunners finally got to open the home portion of their schedule on Monday, March 18 against Central Methodist University at Mandy Thomas Field inside Centennial Park. SFCC swept the doubleheader 17-0 in five innings and 10-9 in come-from-behind fashion in game two.
In game one, SFCC put up six runs in the bottom of first inning and never looked back.
"I felt pretty good with Madison (Love) on the mound with a six run lead, pitching as well as she is," said SFCC Softball Head Coach Lyndsey Talbot. "In games like this, we are looking to bring the run rule into play and save Madison's arm as much as we can."
In NJCAA softball, the run rule is invoked if one team is ahead by at least eight runs after five innings.
SFCC had production up-and-down the lineup in game one. Sophomore infielder Abby Rector of Raytown, Missouri registered a team-leading three hits. She also had a team-high three RBI and scored a pair of runs. Love helped herself at the plate with two hits, two RBI and scored three times.
Freshman utility player Braleigh Johnson of California, Missouri also had two hits, two RBI and a run scored. Freshman catcher/utility player Jordan Fischer of New Florence, Missouri scored a pair of runs. Sophomore utility player Emily Wilson of Oak Grove, Missouri scored three times and drove in two. Sophomore infielder Briana Balandron of Lone Jack, Missouri drove in two runs. Freshman outfielder Liz Nimmer of Warrensburg, Missouri also drove in a pair of runs.
Love tossed a complete game shutout, allowing only two hits and striking out 11.
In game two, Wilson had three hits, including a pair of doubles and an RBI. Love contributed two hits, including the game tying home run. She also scored twice and had two RBI. Sophomore middle infielder Brytni Hummel of Garden City, Missouri had two hits, two RBI and a run scored. Sophomore outfielder Jacki Watson of Raytown, Missouri scored a pair of runs. Sophomore catcher/infielder Lauren Watkins of Columbia, Missouri registered a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Fischer had a triple in the game.
Freshman pitcher/utility player Abby Rapp of Stewartsville, Missouri got the start in the circle in game two for SFCC. She pitched two innings, allowed five runs; two earned on four hits. Love picked up the victory in relief, pitching the final two innings, allowing no hits and striking out five.
"Game two has been our Achilles' heel all year said Talbot. "We haven't swept anyone since the first two games of the year. Our team doesn't quit, which will be a good thing moving forward, but we had too many bad at-bats, which cost us with runners in scoring position."
March 20 St. Charles Community College at Cottleville, Missouri
SFCC got off to a good start in Region 16 and Missouri Community College Athletic Conference play on Wednesday, March 20, sweeping St. Charles Community College 17-0 and 12-1, both games ended in five innings because of the run rule.
In game one, Love led SFCC offensively with four hits, including a pair of doubles. She drove in six runs and scored three times. Sophomore outfielder Celine Dodson of Pilot Grove, Missouri contributed three hits, drove in two runs and scored twice. Fischer added two hits. Johnson had a pair of hits, as well as two runs scored and two RBI. Nimmer had a home run and a double to go along with two runs scored and three RBI. Freshman pitcher/infielder Alissa Collette of Strafford, Missouri had two hits, including a double to go along with two runs scored and an RBI.
"It was key for us in that game to go in there and beat a team that we should beat," said Talbot. "The girls did a good job of moving runners and we were able to find some gaps."
Love put together another outstanding effort in the circle for SFCC. She tossed her fifth consecutive shutout. Love allowed one hit and struck out 13 in the game with no walks. She only allowed two hits.
"Madison had everything working for her in game one," said Talbot. "St. Charles couldn't catch up with her velocity. The defense played solid behind her."
In game two, SFCC continued to roll. Love contributed three hits, one of which was a double to go along with two RBI and a run scored. Fischer also had a double. Rector and Watkins added triples to lead the 11-hit attack. Dodson and sophomore outfielder Victoria McCloud of Houston, Missouri stole bases in game two.
"We challenged our team before game two started to put a complete game together," said Talbot. "That's something that we have struggled with in the past few games, but they were able to come out today and keep it rolling in game two."
Collette went the distance in the circle for the Lady Roadrunners. She only allowed one hit and one unearned run in the game. She struck out four.
"She was able to keep the ball moving," said Talbot. "I think that her energy from game one carried over into game two. The defense also played solid behind her."
March 21 Three Rivers Community College at Poplar Bluff, Missouri
The SFCC softball team continued their road trip with a pair of games against Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff on March 21. SFCC lost both games by scores of 10-0 and 8-0, both games ended in five innings because of the run rule. The doubleheader was part of the Region 16 and Missouri Community College Athletic Conference schedule for both teams.
In game one, the offense was held to just two hits, a single from Love and a double from Collette. Freshman utility player Reagan Hockett of Sedalia, Missouri and Dodson each drew a walk in the game. Love got the start in the circle for SFCC. She allowed 10 runs, only four of which were earned. She struck out three, while going the distance for SFCC.
In game two, Rector recorded the only hit for SFCC. Hockett and Love drew one walk each for the Lady Roadrunners.
Collette went the distance for SFCC in the circle. She gave up eight runs, only four of which were earned on nine hits. She struck out three batters.
"We were not able to put the pressure on their defense," said Talbot. "We struck out 22 times in two games against Three Rivers. We played well for about the first three innings in both games and then we kind of fell apart defensively."
March 22 Crowder College at Neosho, Missouri
SFCC closed out its six game road trip on Saturday, March 22 with a doubleheader against Crowder College; Crowder won both games by scores of 4-2 and 7-3. The games were part of the Region 16 schedule for both teams.
In game one, Love led the SFCC offense with a home run and two RBI. Rector had a pair of hits including a double. Fischer had a hit and a run scored. Collette also had a hit.
Love went the distance in the circle for SFCC. She allowed four runs on 11 hits and struck out four.
In game two, Rector led the SFCC offense with a hit and two RBI. Nimmer had a double and an RBI. Wilson, Love, Hummel also recorded a hit each in the contest.
Collette got the start in the circle for the Lady Roadrunners. She pitched five and one-third innings and allowed six runs. She was given the pitching loss. Sophomore pitcher/infielder Macy Buzzanga of Knob Noster, Missouri came out of the bullpen to pitch the final two-thirds of an inning.
"We struck out way too many times against Crowder," said Talbot. "When you're not putting pressure on the defense, it makes it easier for your opponent on offense. Our pitchers pitched well in both games, we just didn't get anything going offensively, until the seventh-inning of game two. It was good to see our team continue to battle, but we can't dig ourselves 7-0 hole in the game."
The Lady Roadrunners record currently stands at 10-10, 2-4 in Region 16, 2-2 in the MCCAC.