JOPLIN — The Neosho Lady Wildcats finished sixth place overall in the 14th annual Paige Neal/Christina Freeman softball tournament inside the Joplin Athletic Complex.
Neosho took a 16-8 loss to Webb City in the fifth place game Saturday and the Lady Wildcats finished 3-2 in the tournament.
Neosho defeated Carthage 5-1 in the early game Saturday.
On Friday, in pool play games, Neosho blanked Joplin 6-0 in the opening game and then were on the opposite ends of blowout games by first taking a 21-2 loss to Rock Bridge and then defeating Lamar 17-2. At the end of the tournament, Neosho came out with a 4-2 overall record.
The Lady Wildcats return to action Tuesday with the Central Ozark Conference and home opener against Republic.
In the 16-8 loss to Webb City, Neosho jumped out to an early lead with five runs in the first and then plated two in the third and one in the sixth, while the Lady Cardinals scored three in the first, five in the second, two in the third, four in the fourth, and one each in the fifth and sixth.
Bre Slavens had one hit and drove in three runs, while Sierra Jones led the way with two hits and Taylor Baker drove in two runs. Lili Graue, Kaitlyn Killion, Mikayla Long, and Brittany Winchester each had one hit for the Lady Wildcats and Jones and Kyla Daspit each picked up RBI. Jones tripled and Long doubled.
Daspit and Winchester split pitching duties, and seven of the 14 runs against Daspit were unearned.
Kaia Storm led Webb City with four hits and four RBI, while Renae Gilmore, Haidyn Berry, Ali Vanzant, and Karson Culver each drove in a pair of runs for the Lady Cardinals.
Neosho and Webb City, who played each other for a district title last season, will meet again.
Against Carthage, Daspit gave another sensational early-season pitching performance. She allowed one run (earned) on four hits over seven innings and she struck out four and walked none.
Neosho pushed across three runs in the third and plated single runs in the fifth and sixth.
Grace and Killion led the Lady Wildcats with two hits each, while Killion and Amber Shepeard each drove in two runs. Baker picked up an RBI.
After taking a 19-run loss in their middle game Friday, the Lady Wildcats answered the bell with a 15-run three-inning victory over the Lady Tigers of Lamar.
Neosho scored seven in the first, eight in the second, and two in the third, while Lamar plated single runs in the first and second.
Slavens, Baker, Killian, and Megan Geller each had two hits, while Slavens homered, scored three runs, and drove in three. Baker picked up three RBI and Killion and Geller each had two.
Daspit allowed two runs (both earned) on five hits and she struck out four and walked two.
Rock Bridge rocked Neosho for 21 runs on 21 hits and four Neosho errors, and scored four in the first, one in the second, two in the third, and 14 in the fourth while Neosho managed only a single hit and scored two runs in the fourth.
Long’s two-run homer accounted for the Wildcats’ only hit and lone run production.
Daspit and Winchester both logged circle time.
Daspit started her tournament in style with a three-hit performance against Joplin. Following up on a 13-strikeout performance in the season opener against Cassville, Daspit had eight strikeouts and one walk against the host Lady Eagles.
Offensively, Neosho scored two in the first and single runs in the third, fourth, sixth, and seventh.
Baker led the Lady Wildcat charge with two RBI and Shepeard and Slavens each picked up RBI. Slavens knocked her first homer of the tourney. Killion led with two runs scored.
Joplin’s three errors contributed to four unearned runs for the Lady Wildcats.