Nifty defense helped the Neosho upend Seneca, 8-3, in the regular season finale for the Lady Wildcats at Crowder College.
Three key defensive plays loomed large for the Lady Wildcats as Cassie Dickens, Morgan Rathmann and Emily Harrell each had dazzling highlights with the leather. Rathmann gunned down a runner at home plate and Harrell had a sliding catch and doubled off a runner at first base. Dickens’ diving play also kept runs off the board.
“The girls came out and played solid defense,” Lady Wildcats coach Melissa Clark said. “We made some great plays.”
Timely hitting was also paramount for Neosho. The Lady Wildcats (6-19) plated two runs in the first, five in the second and another in the third while scattering eight hits at the plate. Bailey Spence slugged a pair of doubles and amassed three RBI. Rathmann had a hit and an RBI. Lindsey Vance, Hailey Geller, Dickens, Kylee Belcher and Harrell had a hit apiece.
“To finish the regular season, last home game, on a win is definitely a positive,” Clark said. “We had timely hits with runners on base to score some runs.”
The loss dropped Seneca to 17-9 this season. Bree Cornett led the Lady Indians with two hits. Bailey Skelton, Mirana Heath, Maura Butler, Willow Rhoades and Macy VanDorn had a hit apiece.
Geller was the winning pitcher with a strikeout and five walks.
Seneca won the junior varsity game 3-1 after play was halted in the bottom of the third inning due to darkness.
Neosho begins play at the District 12 Tournament against Republic at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Joplin Athletic Complex.
The Lady Indians take on the winner of East Newton vs. Carl Junction in their district tournament at 7 p.m. Thursday at Monett.
Seneca defeated Aurora, 7-1, on Thursday. Skelton led Seneca with three hits in that game.