Southern Boone's Camryn Schaller dropped in a first-pitch strike more times than not Wednesday against Jefferson City.
She worked the zone from there and the Lady Jays weren't able to get a hold of much in a 6-1 defeat against the Lady Eagles at Vogel Field.
"Even looking back at last year, she did a good job of that as well," Jefferson City coach Zac Miller said. "That was one thing we looked at. She tried to get ahead, so we're going to look for those pitches to be able to jump on sometimes.
"She made good pitches, she hit some corners on the first pitch and that's not always a pitch we want to try and drive on a low count."
The Lady Jays' first hit of the game came in the fifth inning when Brooke Bates reached on an infield single.
Two batters later, Kara Daly turned on a 2-2 pitch just up out of the zone, but she got a bit under it for a flyout to left field to keep the score 5-1 Lady Eagles.
"Got a changeup there so her timing was a little off," Miller said. "Still put a good swing on it and just missed it. If she's a fraction of an inch up on that ball, it goes out."
A groundout ended the inning and Jefferson City's only other baserunner came in the sixth when Reece DeSimone was hit by a pitch.
DeSimone made it to third following a passed ball and a groundout, but slipped on her secondary lead and was picked off by Southern Boone catcher Jordyn Loutzenhiser-Sapp.
A groundout ended the inning.
Schaller, who allowed one unearned run and a hit with a walk and a strikeout, found success pitching inside to the Lady Jays.
"It's one of those things you've got to react quick, ball's going to be on you fast," Miller said. "She pitched a great game tonight and we caught the brunt of it."
Southern Boone went up 2-0 in the first as Mariah Prince sent a low liner to right field for an RBI single and Addison Lange rolled a grounder through the right side of the infield to bring in another run.
Daly scored Jefferson City's run in the bottom half, reaching on an error and scoring on Avrey Reynolds' bases-loaded groundout.
Southern Boone added a pair of runs in the second, including Schaller's RBI infield single. Schaller singled twice and walked once.
Daly delayed Southern Boone making it 5-1 in the fifth by throwing a runner out at the plate on a ground ball to her at shortstop.
"Got a bad hop, fielded it between her elbows and hung with it," Miller said.
But a dropped popup for the Lady Jays later allowed a run and the Lady Eagles scored on a wide throw to first base in the seventh.
Reynolds pitched the first two innings for Jefferson City, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk.
Southern Boone (16-4) got two unearned runs and a hit off Green, who struck out five and walked three in five innings of relief.
"Threw great, worked ahead," Miller said of Green. " She did a great job coming in in relief and shutting them down."
Jefferson City (13-8) will play Friday and Saturday in the Carthage Tournament.