The Seneca Lady Indians rattled off five straight wins, including multiple close games, to go from 1-5 to 6-5 on the season entering Thursday’s Big 8 Conference clash against the defending Class 3 state champions Monett Lady Cubs.
Seneca concluded this five-game tear with a 12-8 win Monday over Joplin and a 7-6 win Tuesday over Marshfield.
In the 7-6 win over the Lady Blue Jays, Seneca fell behind 3-0, went ahead 7-3 behind a five-run third and a two-run fourth, and withstood Marshfield’s three-run surge in the fifth.
The Lady Indians battled and batted their way through four errors, since the offense produced their seven runs on a dozen hits.
Mekaylee Beard led the Seneca bats with three hits and a pair of RBI, and her day included a double. Starting pitcher Chelsea Beville supported herself with one hit and three RBI, with one of her RBI picked up by a sacrifice fly. Grace Johnson had a pair of runs scored and a pair of hits, while Kayla French scored two runs, Kaden McKnight picked up a pair of hits, and Mady Dunbar drove in a run.
Beville allowed six runs (one earned) on seven hits over seven innings (99 pitches, 18 more than her counterpart from Marshfield who pitched one less inning) with four strikeouts and two walks.
Against Class 4 Joplin, Class 3 Seneca reached 10 runs for the second time this season and established a new seasonal best with 12 runs scored.
Joplin actually led 3-0 before Seneca cracked the scoreboard and the Lady Eagles scored at least one run in the first six innings before putting up a two-spot in the seventh.
Meanwhile, the Lady Indians scored two in the third, one in the fourth, six in the fifth, and three in the sixth, benefiting from the big inning more than Joplin’s steady but falling short approach to scoring.
The teams also combined for nine errors, balanced out almost evenly with one more error by Seneca.
Seneca’s strength came from the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 5 spots in the order, who combined for nine hits.
No. 3 Johnson had three hits and No. 1 French, No. 2 Beville, and No. 5 Ali Kohler each had two. Johnson drove in three runs and Kohler two.
All of the top five spots scored at least two runs: Beville three and French, Johnson, Beard, and Kohler two each.
Beard, Chaney Platner, and McKnight each drove in a run.
Beard and Beville split time on the mound. Beard, who started, allowed five runs (two earned) on seven hits over five innings and she struck out three and walked one. Beville allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits over two innings and she struck out one and walked none.
In the wins against Joplin and Marshfield, Seneca combined for nine errors. You can safely say that the Lady Indians’ offense sparked those two victories.