REEDS SPRING — The McDonald County Lady Mustangs have already found a multitude of ways to win softball games early in the season, something that must be encouraging to head coach Skyler Rawlins and the Lady Mustangs’ staff.
McDonald County has won slugfests — for example, a 13-9 win over Joplin in nine innings — and won a 3-1 Big 8 Conference contest Tuesday against Reeds Spring, despite only a single hit.
McDonald County’s Alexa Hopkins and Reeds Spring’s Izzy Erickson set upon dueling zeroes (not banjos) on Tuesday.
Hopkins earned the win and she allowed one run (earned) on eight hits over seven innings and she struck out five and walked two.
Erickson, meanwhile, allowed three runs (one earned) on just the one hit over seven innings and she struck out 11 and walked two.
Reeds Spring reached the scoreboard first, with Erickson supporting herself with a RBI double in the fifth. The Lady Wolves put a couple runners aboard on walks.
McDonald County scored one in the sixth and then went ahead with two in the seventh.
McDonald County’s speedy leadoff hitter Rita Santillan hit a solo homer in the sixth to get the Lady Mustangs on the board.
Then, in the seventh, McDonald County worked a bit of small ball magic with walks and bunts (and Reeds Spring blunders) guiding the Lady Mustangs into the lead.
Whitney Kinser led off with a walk, then Madeline McCall bunted and reached on an error. Both runners would come around to score.
Kristen Cornell’s sacrifice moved McCall to second and Kinser to third with one down.
Hopkins’ bunt led to a Reeds Spring error and a 2-1 McDonald County lead.
The Lady Mustangs scored their final run on another sacrifice bunt by Kaylee Cornell.
McDonald County, 4-0 and 2-0 Big 8, returns to action Thursday against Big 8 foe Aurora, of course weather permitting.