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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Lady 'Cats lose opener in extras

  • A harrowing comeback bid by the Neosho Lady Wildcats fell just short on Wednesday as they lost in the season opener to the Carl Junction Lady Bulldogs in the inaugural game at the brand new Neosho Softball Field at George Washington Carver Elementary School.
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  • A harrowing comeback bid by the Neosho Lady Wildcats fell just short on Wednesday as they lost in the season opener to the Carl Junction Lady Bulldogs in the inaugural game at the brand new Neosho Softball Field at George Washington Carver Elementary School.
    After trailing 11-4 in the fifth inning, the Lady 'Cats stormed all the way back to tie it at 11 in the seventh. That sent the game into extras, but a two-out rally by the Lady Bulldogs in the top of the eighth produced two runs and allowed them to escape with a 13-11 win.
    Neosho recorded two quick outs in the top of the eighth, but the next three batters walked to load the bases for Carl Junction and Michaela Horn drove in Tasha Steele with a single to left to make it 12-11. Samantha Berry followed with a walk to load the bases again before Arista Pattyson scored when an errant pickoff attempt got away from the third baseman and allowed her to trot home with the final run.
    The Lady Bulldogs (1-0) made themselves at home in Neosho's new digs early on as they plated three quick runs in the first — powered behind a two-out, two-run home run by Pattyson. The Lady 'Cats (0-1) scored a run in each of the second and third innings to pull within a run (3-2), but Carl Junction broke free in the fourth when hits by Katelyn Bebee, Tasha Steele, Pattyson and Shelby Sullivan, along with a fielder's choice from Sydni Beck, helped the visitors push across five runs to make it 8-2.
    Neosho continued to chip away at the lead as they added single runs in the fourth and fifth to make it 8-4. The Lady Bulldogs, however, stretched it to 11-4 before Neosho came alive and scored six runs in the sixth.
    Lindsay Vance opened the inning with a single before Deanna Bingham reached on a fielder's choice. With one out, Emily Harrell reached on a bunt single and Katie Cholka drove home Bingham with a single to left. Danielle Forkner followed with a single to center that allowed Harrell to score and Cloe Neece followed with a pinch-hit walk. Kylee Belcher then lifted a deep fly to left that was misplayed by the outfielder and allowed two more runs to score before Cholka grounded out to the first baseman to drive in the tying run with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
    "I think they surprised pretty much everybody here," Lady 'Cats coach Brandi Arthur said. "Everyone but us thought (we) were out of the game. Tremendous show of character and heart from our kids to keep their focus. Great job by them today."
    Early mistakes plagued Neosho and late mistakes plagued Carl Junction. Mistakes aren't an uncommon occurrence in season openers either, and Arthur said she was encouraged that the mistakes her team made can be corrected.
    Page 2 of 2 - "All of the things that we made mistakes on today are totally fixable," Arthur said. "And a lot of it is just a lack of confidence in their mental approach when they're on defense, and we can fix that, for sure.
    "We'll get better. Every game we'll continue to get better."
    Vance led the Lady 'Cats at the plate with three hits, including a double, to go along with three RBIs. Harrell also had three hits and scored twice, while Forkner had two hits and scored twice, Cholka, Spence, Belcher, Kylie Bach, and Cassie Dickens all had hits. Bach and Bingham each scored twice while Cholka and Neece scored once. Cholka also had an RBI.
    Bebee, Steele, Pattyson, Horn and Sullivan each had three hits for the Lady Bulldogs.
    Neosho entertains McDonald County today at 5 p.m. at the Neosho Softball Field.

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