GRANBY — McDonald County freshman Madeline McCall and East Newton senior Natalie Oxendine had themselves a good, old-fashioned pitchers’ duel Tuesday night in the Big 8 Conference opener for both schools.
And the freshman and the Lady Mustangs came out on top with a 4-1 McDonald County victory.
McCall allowed one run (unearned) on two hits over seven innings and she fanned 15 and walked one during a sensational effort. She recorded 71.4 percent of her outs by the strikeout.
McCall struck out the first nine Lady Patriots she faced — Kenzie Massey, Kayla Higginbotham, and Oxendine in the first, then Katie Kester, Kaitlyn Hailey, and Robin Hussong in the second and Baylee Anderson, Macy Bowman, and Makenna Brasier in the third.
McCall struck out two each in the fourth and fifth and one each in the sixth and seventh.
McCall finished with 89 pitches and 62 were strikes, including the 45 that counted toward her Ks.
Higginbotham and Hailey had East Newton’s lone hits and Massey scored the Lady Patriots’ only run, coming around in the fourth.
In that fourth, Massey reached on a two-base error and came around to score, helped out by Higginbotham’s bunt single.
Hailey singled leading off the fifth.
Meanwhile, Oxendine proved mostly effective herself against the Lady Mustangs, but she took the loss with four runs allowed (three earned) on five hits over seven innings. She struck out three and walked none with 59 of her 79 total pitches going over for strikes.
McDonald County plated three runs in the second and one in the fifth.
In that second, McCall reached on a two-base error, Kristen Cornell hit a RBI double, and McCall’s fellow pitcher Alexa Hopkins knocked a two-run homer. Keep in mind that McDonald County came fresh off a 13-9 win in nine innings Monday over Joplin.
Chloe Colvin produced an insurance RBI single in the fifth.
Kaylee Cornell had a pair of hits to lead the Lady Mustangs and her pinch runners Emily Emmert and Caitlin Hall came around to score half of the Lady Mustangs’ runs.
McDonald County improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 Big 8, and returns to action Thursday, weather permitting, at home against Big 8 foe Marshfield.
East Newton returns to action over the weekend in the Commerce Tournament.