Facing arguably one of the best softball teams in the state of Missouri, the McDonald County Lady Mustangs proved their 20-0 start to the season was no fluke, and that they deserve to be a mentioned amongst the best in the state as pitcher Kali Hodson whirled a no-hitter to lead the Lady Mustangs to a 7-0 victory on Monday.
Hodson simply dazzled a potent Webb City lineup by mixing her pitches and hitting spots. She struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. She fell one McDonald County error short of a perfect game.
“Kali threw really well tonight,” McDonald County coach Tray Shaddox said. “That was maybe the best I’ve ever seen her throw. She just did a great job of moving the ball around and changing speeds. They probably hit a couple of balls hard, but all in all Kali was just on top of her game.
“We played great defense behind her. We had one error: Take that away and she threw a perfect game. We hit the ball pretty well.”
The Lady Mustangs scored a pair of runs in the first inning. Courtni Smith led off the bottom of the first with a single to center and went to second on a walk to Ashton Harmon. With two outs in the inning, Macie Jones and Kali Hodson walked to load the bases before another walk to Coley Ickes scored Smith to make it 1-0. Stormy Christerson followed with an infield single to score Jones and make it 2-0.
Smith got things going again in the second inning when she poked a one-out double to left and scored on a single by Jones to make it 3-0.A one-out rally in the fifth inning saw the Lady Mustangs plate four more runs.
Ickes sparked the rally with a single to left. She scored when the next batter, Stormy Christerson, doubled to the wall in left. Sierra Clay drove Christerson in with a two out single, and scored on a Smith single. Smith later scored on a single by Harmon to make it 7-0.
With district playoffs looming, the Lady Mustangs (21-0) are trying to keep an even-keeled approach.
“We talked to the girls about how the games we’re playing right now are sort of like exhibition games, because the real games start next week,” Shaddox said referencing the district tournament. “But they’re really playing well right now. We feel pretty good about the way we’re playing. This week is a good tune-up for the district tournament. We’re treating it like a tune-up and playing some good competition.”
Smith led the team with three hits, an RBI and three runs scored. Harmon, Jones and Christerson had two hits apiece. Kelsy Reynolds, Ickes, Rachel Brown and Clay had a hit. Christerson finished with two RBIs. Jones, Christerson and Smith had a double each.
Page 2 of 2 - McDonald County hosts Monett at 5 p.m. today at McDonald County High School.