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10-run inning leads Capital City softball past Hickman

by Kyle McAreavy | September 15, 2023 at 12:44 a.m.
Capital City coach Brett Skinner talks to the Lady Cavaliers after Thursday's game against Hickman at Capital City High School. (Kyle McAreavy/News Tribune)

It didn’t take long for the Capital City Lady Cavaliers to get rolling.

The Lady Cavaliers scored 10 runs in the first inning to build a 15-0, three-inning win against the Hickman Kewpies in Central Missouri Activities Conference action Thursday as Capital City prepares for the Lady Jays Classic.

“They played really good,” Capital City coach Brett Skinner said. “The challenge coming in was to have good at-bats, be selective, don’t be over anxious and when you get your pitch, hit the ball hard. And we did that.”

Lydia Coulson struck out three batters around a double in the top of the first inning, then the Lady Cavalier bats got to work.

Faith Karr took a leadoff walk on four pitches, then came around to score when McKenna Schwarzer dropped a bunt down the third-base line, which was thrown past the Hickman right fielder who came in to cover first and into right field with no one backing up the play.

Schwarzer was able to come all the way around to score on the error and put Capital City up 2-0 two batters into the bottom of the first.

Coulson reached on an error, then Emma Stieferman collected the Lady Cavaliers’ first hit with a single up the middle. It was the first of Stieferman’s three singles with two RBI on the night.

Annie Spratt hit a soft line drive to left-center, scoring both Coulson and Stieferman, then Kylie Baker was hit by a pitch and Macy Dudenhoeffer hit a line drive to left to load the bases.

Carianne Peterson hit a hard grounder through the left side to score Spratt and leave the bases loaded, then Danijah Fluellen walked to bring in Baker.

Karr came up for the second time before an out was recorded and took another four-pitch walk to score Dudenhoeffer, then a flyout put the first out on the board for Hickman.

Coulson followed with a two-RBI double down the left-field line, but Karr was thrown out at the plate on the play for the second out. Stieferman then singled to bring home Coulson for the Lady Cavaliers’ 10th run of the opening frame.

In total, the Lady Cavaliers sent 14 batters to the plate, took three walks, were hit by one pitch and collected six hits with all nine batters scoring a run and Coulson scoring twice.

“When you got Coach Skinner throwing batting practice, you learn to be selective,” Skinner said with a laugh. “It’s one of the things we really work hard on. They had a good approach, they had good discipline. Overall, it was very positive to see.”

Coulson then returned to the circle and set down the Kewpies in order before the Lady Cavaliers’ went down in order on three pitches in the second.

Coulson hurled another 1-2-3 inning to keep Hickman off the board after the top of the third, giving her six strikeouts and one hit allowed in her three-inning, complete-game shutout.

“She attacked the zone, got ahead of girls and was able to put them away,” Skinner said. “… She threw well today and she’s feeling good. She’s wanting the ball and we’re building her up to get her full strength by October.”

Capital City then scored five runs in the third to walk off the run-rule win.

Fluellen led off with a walk and stole second before taking third on a flyout to right. Schwarzer was hit by a pitch and stole second to put two runners in scoring position for Coulson, who singled to the Hickman shortstop’s backhand. Megan Schoeneberg made a great snag on the grounder, but Coulson beat the throw to first for an RBI single, scoring Fluellen and moving Schwarzer to third.

Brenna Schulte came in to courtesy run for Coulson and took second on a defensive indifference, then Stieferman sent a line drive up the middle to score Schwarzer and took second on the throw home to keep two runners in scoring position. Spratt was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Baker walked to bring home Schulte before Dudenhoeffer hit into a fielder’s choice with a pop fly just past the retreating infield. Spratt had to hold at second in case of the catch and the throw from deep short to third was able to get her, but Stieferman scored to put the Lady Cavaliers up 14-0.

Peterson walked to load the bases, then Fluellen sent a hard single up the middle to bring home Baker for the walk-off win.

Capital City totaled nine hits, seven walks and three hit batters in the win with Stieferman going 3-for-3 with two RBI, Coulson having three RBI on two hits, including a double, and Karr walking twice, as did Fluellen to go with her RBI single.

Capital City (3-6, 2-1 CMAC) will face Parkway West at 1:45 p.m. today to start the Lady Jays Classic at Field 1 at Binder Park.

“Letting them go out there and play loose and let them play with what it feels like to play relaxed,” Skinner said of the advantage to a game like Thursday heading into a tough tournament. “That’s kind of been our biggest thing. Our offense has struggled early so our defense has felt like they need to play perfect. It was nice to get that feeling and starting with it. The tournament is loaded, it’s a good one. We’ll see where we stand.”


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