WARDSVILLE, Mo. — The Blair Oaks Lady Falcons are really digging the long ball.
Blair Oaks blasted three home runs Tuesday, extending its win streak to nine games with a 7-1 win against the School of the Osage Lady Indians at the Falcon Athletic Complex.
"Home runs were on display tonight," Blair Oaks coach Sharon Buschjost said.
Blair Oaks had 10 home runs all of last season. The Lady Falcons already have nine homers through their first 11 games this season.
Hannah Schroeder led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run to straightaway center field, tying the game at 1.
Buschjost said Schroeder's homer helped relax the Lady Falcons at the plate.
"It even helped the coach relax a little bit," Buschjost said. "There was a little bit of relief, and it was like, 'OK, let's get back at it.'"
In her next trip to the plate, Schroeder lined an 0-1 pitch just beyond the right-field fence for her team-high fourth home run of the season, extending Blair Oaks' lead to 4-1.
"It was a changeup that she stayed back on," Buschjost said. "It's tough to hit changeups solid, much less over the fence. She did an incredible job tonight hitting."
Prior to Schroeder's second homer of the game, Brooke Boessen blooped a two-out single into shallow center field, scoring Macey Stockman from second base to give the Lady Falcons their first lead of the game at 2-1.
"(Osage's) Kerrigan Gamm is a tremendous player at shortstop, and she has tremendous range and a tremendous arm," Buschjost said. "I was afraid that she going to track that down and lay out for it and get it. That was a huge uplift for us, to just add on a little bit there."
In the bottom of the fifth, Makenna Kliethermes hit her first career home run, a two-run blast beyond the left-center field fence. That hit pushed the lead to 7-1 and gave Blair Oaks its first three-homer game since last season, a 10-5 win against Jefferson City.
Kliethermes, Blair Oaks' No. 6 hitter, went 3-for-3 at the plate, adding a pair of singles in her first two at-bats.
"Sometimes you just go with the hot hitter and mix things up a little bit," Buschjost said. "But boy, Macey Stockman and Kayla (Jones) have been taking care of things in the 1 and 2 spots. Nos. 3-6, I really can't go wrong as a coach, whoever I pick in those spots."
Gamm drew a 10-pitch walk to start the game and scored on a double by Gracie Faulkner to give Osage a 1-0 lead after the top of the first.
Kliethermes settled down after the run scored, striking out the next six batters she faced. The junior right-hander finished with 13 strikeouts and a pair of walks.
"Makenna recovered well and made it very difficult on their hitters the rest of the way," Buschjost said.
In addition to providing the big blasts, Blair Oaks showed it could take them away just as well.
With the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Osage's Paige Luttrell lifted a flyball to deep center field.
"Off the bat, I was thinking it's a two-run game," Buschjost said.
Boessen drifted back toward the fence, making the catch just before toppling over the portable fence. She was able to hang onto the ball to rob Luttrell of a grand slam that would have cut the lead to 7-5.
Buschjost met her center fielder on the third-base foul line to congratulate her after the inning.
"I just tracked the ball, I didn't really care where the fence was," Boessen said. "I was more focused on catching the ball than anything else.
"I caught it in the pocket of my glove, so I knew that I had it pretty well."
Schroeder finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored. Stockman added one single and one double, while Boessen scored a pair of runs.
Skyler Smith took the loss for Osage (6-6), finishing with one walk and four strikeouts while allowing 11 hits. She also tripled off Kliethermes in the third inning.
Blair Oaks (9-2) will enjoy a rare day off today before playing Jefferson City on Thursday at 63 Diamonds.
"I find myself as a coach trying to make sure, with having the schedule we have the next three weeks, that we are taking care of ourselves," Buschjost said. "We'll have a shorter practice tomorrow, but we'll have a practice."
In the JV game, Blair Oaks won 6-0 to improve to 11-0.
Kaitlyn Luebbering was the winning pitcher, striking out five batters. Ellie Kliethermes, Bailey Rissmiller and Kaitlyn Kolb each had one hit and one RBI.