Lady Jays break out the bats in victory against Helias

The Lady Jays greet Brooke Rozier at the plate following her two-run home run in the first inning of Wednesday’s matchup against Helias at Duensing Field.

The Lady Jays greet Brooke Rozier at the plate following her two-run home run in the first inning of Wednesday’s matchup against Helias at Duensing Field. Photo by Kris Wilson.

Jefferson City and Helias entered Wednesday night’s softball game at Duensing Field headed in opposite directions.

Both kept going the same way.

Jefferson City bashed out 15 hits and downed Helias 14-4 in six innings to improve to 6-0 on the season.

Brooke Rozier’s two-run homer that cleared the left-field fence by plenty set the tone for the Lady Jays who led 10-0 after an eight-run second inning and rolled from there.

“The way we come out with eight hits in the first two innings and then we score all those runs, that’s the positive part,” Jefferson City head coach Lisa Dey said.

Rozier was a big part of Jefferson City’s offensive explosion as she finished with four hits, three runs and three RBI.

But Jefferson City got production from up and down the lineup. Eight of Jefferson City’s nine starters recorded at least one hit and eight different Lady Jays scored runs. Alyson Metz added a three-run homer in the big second inning that put the game away early.

Darby Brundage, Emily Williams, Metz, Taylor Dey and Dakota Newton all had two hits each for the Lady Jays.

“With the lineup we have, they have the potential to put the ball in play and put the ball in play with some power,” Dey said.

It’s been a mixture of good things in the early going for the Lady Jays, who have won games with their defense, pitching and offense.

“Everybody is playing as a team,” Dey said. “Everybody is playing as one. We’re just putting everything together.”

It’s been a different story for the Lady Crusaders. Helias showed some life offensively early as it put five runners on in the first two innings. But they managed to score just one run out of it.

Helias had just one hit after the third inning as Krista Brickey picked up the win for the Lady Jays. She allowed four runs on nine hits while striking out one.

The end of the game was likely a welcome site for the Lady Crusaders, who are finished with a tough stretch that included two games against perennial power Webb City and games against Blair Oaks and Jefferson City. Helias dropped to 1-5 on the season.

“We were looking at this stretch knowing it was going to be tough,” Helias coach Dan Campbell said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

Jefferson City’s bats were quiet the final three innings as well. The Lady Jays were able to end the game by the 10-run rule thanks to a catcher’s interference call that kept the top of the sixth inning alive.

“The negative part, I’ll say, we almost kind of decided we were going to lay over a little bit and then kind of coast,” Dey said. “I don’t like that because teams like Helias will sneak up on you. They can get a few runs here, a few runs there and all of a sudden then they make a game out of it.”

Helias scored three runs on four hits in the third inning to cut Jefferson City’s lead to 13-4, but it would get no closer.

Paige Bange and Lauren Morrow had two hits each for Helias. Lindsey Steinbeck took the loss, tossing all six innings.

“We’re young, we’re going to make some mistakes,” Campbell said. “If we don’t learn from it, we’re going to make some other mistakes. That’s the focus right now is to try and learn from the mistakes we’ve made and get them corrected and hopefully if it happens again we respond differently.”

Both teams are back in action this weekend in the Capital City Invitational. Helias opens with Kirksville at 4 p.m. while Jefferson City takes on Lutheran South at 4 p.m.

“We’re going to have to come out and play ball,” Campbell said. “We’re hoping that stretch prepared us for what we’re going to see the rest of the year, and right now I think it has.”

Dey hopes the momentum from the early part of the season carries right over to this weekend’s 16-team tournament.

“There’s not going to be an easy, slouch team to play,” Dey said. “We’ve got to be ready to play all weekend.”

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