Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Rathmann powers Lady ‘Cats on senior night

  • Seven runs in the second inning put Neosho in the driver’s seat and the Lady Wildcats celebrated senior night on Monday by thumping East Newton 13-3 at Crowder College.
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  • Seven runs in the second inning put Neosho in the driver’s seat and the Lady Wildcats celebrated senior night on Monday by thumping East Newton 13-3 at Crowder College.
    Fittingly, it was some first inning fireworks from senior Morgan Rathmann that got the show started for Neosho and gave the team its fourth victory of the season (4-12).
    Trailing 1-0 when they came to bat in the bottom of the first, Neosho leadoff hitter Morgan Rathmann crushed a high drive off the wall in center field and circled the bases in a flash for an inside-the-park homer to tie it at 1-1.
    Rathmann’s speed around the bases was perhaps as impressive as the towering drive itself.
    That blast seemed to set the tone for the Lady Wildcats, as they answered with seven runs in the second inning to blow the score open.
    “Morgan hitting the ball all the way to the fence and, with her speed, having an ability to hit an inside-the-park home run on senior night, nonetheless, is definitely special,” Neosho coach Melissa Clark said. “It gave us momentum."
    That momentum carried over into the second inning when the Lady Wildcats broke loose for one of their biggest innings of the season. Timely hits, coupled with a couple of defensive miscues from the Lady Patriots that prolonged the inning, produced seven runs and gave Neosho an 8-1 lead.
    It was more of the same for East Newton this season. They’ve had trouble avoiding the big inning all season, according to coach Jamey Gilion.
    “We’re this close from being really good,” Gilion said, holding his fingers an inch apart, “But that inch is the hardest part to becoming really good. I have no doubt we’ll get past that and become a good team before long.”
    Gilion credited the Wilcats for taking advantage of their opportunities to strike.
    “Neosho did a good job,” Gilion said. “They hit the ball hard and did a good job taking advantage of our mistakes.”
    Neosho went on to add two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to end it.
    Rathmann finished with three runs scored. The Wildcats’ only other senior on the team, Hailey Geller, also had a big day. Geller pitched a complete game and struck out two to earn the victory. She also clubbed three hits at the plate, had two RBI and scored three runs.
    “We came out and hit the ball well,” Clark said. “We’ve had trouble lately scoring (multiple runs) during one inning. We did a good job of getting runners on base and putting runs on the board.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It wasn’t just one contributor, everyone in the lineup contributed tonight,” she added. “Hailey Geller threw very well tonight. She did a great job out there on the mound for us.”
    Bailey Spence also had three hits for the Lady Wildcats, stole a base and scored two runs. Shelby Johnson had two hits, including a double, drove in a run, and scored one. Katie Cholka and Emily Harrell had a hit and a run scored each. Cholka chipped in an RBI.
    Taylor Mathis led off the game with a hit and scored East Newton’s only run on an RBI single by Kaitlin Butler in the first inning. Mallory Whitman took the loss on the mound for the Lady Patriots, but added two hits and two RBI at the plate.
    Neosho entertains Carl Junction at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. East Newton (3-13) entertains Monett at 5 p.m. Thursday.
    Neosho won the junior varsity game, 2-1.
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