JOPLIN — The Neosho Lady Wildcats plated five runs in the second and three more in the fifth to earn a 8-5 win Wednesday over Class 4, District 12 rival Joplin.

JOPLIN — The Neosho Lady Wildcats plated five runs in the second and three more in the fifth to earn a 8-5 win Wednesday over Class 4, District 12 rival Joplin.
This is Neosho’s second win — following a win over McDonald County last Thursday — against a district opponent, something that could benefit the Lady Wildcats later on in the seeding process for the district tournament hosted by Carthage.
Neosho benefited from seven free passes and four errors committed by Joplin.
Joplin pitcher Cierra Barber supported herself and put the Lady Eagles on the board with a two-run home run to left in the bottom of the first.
Then, the Lady Wildcats responded with their biggest inning.
It all began when Barber hit leadoff hitter Kaylee Johnson with a 2-1 pitch. Barber struggled with her control somewhat and the Lady Wildcats took advantage.
Neosho pitcher Kyla Daspit then did the fundamental thing with a sacrifice bunt.
Breanna Slavens hit a hard grounder to the left side and reached on an error, placing runners at the corners with one down.
Slavens stole third and Megan Geller worked a four-pitch walk to load the bases.
Johnson came home on a passed ball for the first run and Kayla Bach worked another four-pitch walk to reload the base.
Tori Frazier fell behind 1-2 in the count against Barber, but the Neosho center fielder saw three balls to push across Slavens for a tie score.
Sierra Jones’ fielder’s choice scored Geller for the lead and then Neosho catcher Taylor Baker hit a two-run single plating Bach and Frazier.
The Lady Wildcats built on their 5-3 lead with three in the fifth.
Keller, Cheyenne Bates, and Frazier hit consecutive singles to load the bases with Lady ‘Cats.
Geller scored on a passed ball and the final two Neosho runs scored on Joplin errors.
Layni Merriman’s RBI double and Erin Tyler’s RBI single closed out the scoring in the bottom half of the fifth.
Baker led Neosho with three hits and three RBI, while Jones drove in a pair of runs and Frazier and Geller each scored a pair of runs. Geller worked three of the seven walks and Frazier and Bach split the other four straight down the middle.
Daspit earned the win, allowing five runs (all earned) on 10 hits over seven innings. She fanned five and walked two.
Joplin had all the extra base hits in the game — Barber’s homer, Aydan Perrin’s triple, and Merman’s two doubles — and outhit Neosho 10-7, but in the end, those errors and free passes came back to haunt the host.
Neosho improved to 4-5 on the season and the Lady Wildcats returned to action Thursday against the Ozark Lady Tigers.