JOPLIN — The 11th annual Paige Neal/Christina Freeman Softball Tournament concluded play Saturday at the Joplin Athletic Complex.

JOPLIN — The 11th annual Paige Neal/Christina Freeman Softball Tournament concluded play Saturday at the Joplin Athletic Complex.

The McDonald County Lady Mustangs, the Seneca Lady Indians and the Neosho Lady Wildcats started the day bright and early in consolation play.

Blue Springs won the championship with a 13-2 victory over Park Hill South and KC Staley earned third with a 5-3 victory over host Joplin.

McDonald County

The Lady Mustangs split on Saturday, falling 7-4 to Carl Junction in the fifth place game and defeating Seneca 8-4 in the first game.

In the 7-4 loss to Carl Junction, Chloe Anderson collected three hits and one RBI, while Kali McClain added two hits and two RBI, Aubrie Dunn two hits and one RBI and Kylie Helm two hits.

Losing pitcher Lakota Wolfe went 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits and two walks. Paige Jones pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits.

The Lady Bulldogs scored all seven of their runs in the fifth inning.

In the 8-4 win against Seneca, Jones earned the victory with her line including seven hits allowed and five strikeouts.

Offensively, the Lady Mustangs were paced by the Helms: Cloee collected three hits, including a double, and Kylie parlayed a double and two hits into two RBI. McClain added two hits and one RBI. Anderson had one hit and one RBI.

The Lady Mustangs went 2-1 on the day, with their only loss against Staley.

McDonald County rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win 5-4 Friday over Carl Junction on a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh by McClain.

The Lady Mustangs parlayed that momentum into taking an early 2-0 lead against rival Neosho in the next game.
McDonald County held onto its 2-0 lead until the bottom of the sixth when Neosho tied it up at 2.

The rivals battled into extra innings before McDonald County took a 4-3 victory in nine innings. The Lady Mustangs used an old-fashioned 2-8 double play and a strikeout to retire Neosho in the melodramatic bottom of the ninth.

In the Carl Junction win, Skylar Wright went 3 for 3 with three singles, McClain 2-4 with a double and two RBI, Dunn 2-4 with a RBI and Cloee Helm 2-4 with a RBI.

The Lady Mustangs plated four runs in the sixth for a tie score. McClain hit a RBI double and Cloee Helm a RBI single during this rally.

In the Neosho win, Kenzie Stephens gave the Lady Mustangs the lead in the ninth with a RBI grounder.

On the 2-8 double play, it was catcher Kylie Helm who made a diving catch of a popped-up bunt and then fired onto covering center fielder Cloee Helm to double up the runner at second. Jones then ended it all with a strikeout.

The Lady Mustangs lost 10-0 against Staley.

McDonald County (4-2) plays Tuesday at Carthage.

Seneca

The Lady Indians went 1-2 on Friday — losing its opener 10-0 to Joplin, rebounding for a 7-6 victory over Columbia Rock Bridge and losing a slugfest 12-11 to Nevada in the nightcap — and entered the competition for as high as fifth place with McDonald County, Carl Junction and Nevada.

Joplin’s Mikeula Cox dominated Seneca both at the plate and in the circle. Cox struck out 11 batters over her five-inning shutout and she collected two hits for three RBI to lead the Lady Eagles offense.

Seneca built an early 6-1 lead against Rock Bridge and managed to hold on tightly for the one-run victory as Rock Bridge scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Payton Clouse led the Lady Indians with four hits, a hot game at the plate for the Lady Indians’ hot corner.

Hits were not at a scarcity for Seneca and Nevada on Friday.

The teams combined for 35 hits — Nevada 20, Seneca 15 — and the Lady Tigers held on for their one-run victory after taking a 8-1 first-inning lead.

Clouse produced her second four-hit game of the tournament and drove in three runs to spearhead the Lady Indians’ charge.

Seneca made up some heavy ground on the scoreboard with six runs in the fourth and three in the seventh.

Kylie Boyd drove in five runs and Taylor Remmington collected four hits for Nevada.

Seneca faced Nevada again for seventh place and the Lady Indians tasted sweet revenge with a 12-3 victory.

In the early game Saturday, Seneca lost 8-4 to McDonald County.

The Lady Indians (3-4) host East Newton (1-0) on Tuesday.

Neosho

The Lady Wildcats lost all three pool games Friday, dropping into the lower pool Saturday to play for ninth-12th places.

Errors again wreaked havoc on Neosho in back-to-back losses Friday evening — six against Staley in a 11-0 run-rule loss and five against Carl Junction in a 5-3 loss. Neosho lost its opener 4-3 against McDonald County in nine innings.

In the 5-3 loss, Cloe Neece and Tori Frazier collected half of the Lady Wildcats’ eight hits with two each. Katherine Patterson, Bree Slavens, Logan Bates and Makayla Hayes each reached the hits column. Frazier and Hayes each doubled.

The Lady Wildcats trailed 5-1 before plating two in the seventh.

Bates pitched two scoreless and hitless innings of relief — six Lady Bulldogs up, six Lady Bulldogs down — after Neece allowed three earned runs on 10 hits over five innings.

Carl Junction defeated Neosho in the Lady Wildcats’ opener Wednesday.

Staley scored three runs in the first, one each in the second and third, and six in the fourth en route to its abbreviated five-inning victory.

Patterson, Hayes and Frazier recorded the lone hits against Staley senior pitcher Alle Pattillo.

The Lady Wildcats showed their resilience on Saturday with a 3-0 victory over Webb City in the 9 a.m. game and then a 11-5 victory over Rock Bridge for ninth.

In the 3-0 win over the Lady Cardinals, Neosho committed just one error behind starting pitcher Neece.

Offensively, Neece supported herself with a two-run ground-rule double in the three-run sixth. In the circle, she gave up six hits, walked one and struck out four.

Frazier picked up two hits to lead the seven-hit Lady Wildcat attack.

Neosho (2-4) returns to action Thursday against Willard.

11TH ANNUAL PAIGE NEAL/CHRISTINA FREEMAN SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
1st: Blue Springs
2nd: Park Hill South
3rd: Staley
4th: Joplin
5th: Carl Junction
6th: McDonald County
7th: Seneca
8th: Nevada
9th: Neosho
10th: Rock Bridge
11th: Webb City
12th: Carthage