JOPLIN — It was almost like the McDonald County Lady Mustangs took all their early season frustration out on the Carthage Lady Tigers and the Joplin Lady Eagles in the consolation bracket Saturday of the 13th annual Paige Neal/Christina Freeman Invitational.

JOPLIN — It was almost like the McDonald County Lady Mustangs took all their early season frustration out on the Carthage Lady Tigers and the Joplin Lady Eagles in the consolation bracket Saturday of the 13th annual Paige Neal/Christina Freeman Invitational.
The Lady Mustangs plated one run in the second, four in the third, one in the fifth, and six in the sixth to score enough runs for a 12-0 run-rule victory to earn ninth place against Carthage.
McDonald County freshman pitcher Alexa Hopkins pitched her first career shutout, allowing five hits. She struck out three and walked none.
Offensively, Hopkins supported herself with two hits and three RBI, while Whitney Kinser had a big day with four runs scored, two hits, and two RBI. Cloee Helm and Rita Santillan each scored two runs.
McDonald County (2-4) and Carthage (3-3) played again Monday.
In their opener Saturday, McDonald County routed Joplin 14-2 behind seven runs in the second and five in the third, as well as single tallies in the first and fourth.
The Lady Mustangs bashed out their 14 runs on 15 hits, with Cloee Helm very productive from the leadoff spot with three runs, three hits, and two RBI, while Chloe Colvin put together a pair of runs, three hits, and a pair of RBI from the bottom of the McDonald County order.
Kinser, who missed the season opener against Neosho, came through with two runs scored, two hits, and two RBI.
Kylie Helm drove in three runs to pace the RBI count.
Kaylie Cornell earned the win in the circle, allowing just two runs (one earned) on two hits over four innings. She struck out and walked one each.
Saturday was a good bounce-back day for the Lady Mustangs after their struggles in pool play Friday.
Blue Springs handed McDonald County a 17-8 defeat and a 0-4 start to the season.
Webb City defeated McDonald County 13-5, scoring six runs in the fourth and three each in the fifth and sixth after the Lady Mustangs held a 3-1 lead entering the fourth.
Despite a spectacular highlight-reel play-of-the-season catch in left field by Santillan, McDonald County fell 10-2 to Neosho just a day after losing by almost the same exact score in the Lady Mustangs' season opener.