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story.lead_photo.caption Warmups precede the softball game Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, as Helias hosted Fatima at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex in Jefferson City. Photo by Tom Rackers / News Tribune.

The Fatima Lady Comets left seven runners on base, six in scoring position. The Helias Lady Crusaders left eight, five in scoring position.

And that was just in extra innings.

Fatima broke the scoring drought in the top of the 13th inning Monday night on a single by Lauren Brandt to take a 3-2 victory against Helias at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex.

"It was great to see Lauren come through," Fatima coach Dana Scheppers said.

The Lady Crusaders were left to lament what got away after the three-plus hour game.

"Fundamentally at the plate, we did nothing to make ourselves successful, and that's the ballgame," Helias coach Chris Wyrick said. "We would get jammed on pitches, we'd hit it off the end of the bat back to the pitcher, we just didn't get it done.

"That's why we scored two runs in 13 innings, we just weren't good with runners in scoring position."

Ally Havens led off the 13th with a double to left-center. A walk to Karli Struemph was sandwiched between a pair of outs before a walk to Chayce Gier loaded the bases for Brandt.

On an 0-2 pitch, the Fatima senior singled to left to score Havens.

"I'd rather the game like this on a hit like that than a walk or an error," Scheppers said. "She earned it."

But there still was the bottom of the 13th to get through. Gier went back out to the circle to finish what she started and retired the Lady Crusaders in order.

"I'm very proud of Chayce, she was tough out there all night," Scheppers said.

Gier finished with 173 pitches in 13 innings. She allowed 13 hits and three walks, recording six strikeouts.

There was no thought at any point about taking the junior out of the game.

"I did not, no," Scheppers said. "She's one of those people, this was her game, I couldn't take her out, she'd worked so hard."

Alexa Rehmeier took the loss for the Lady Crusaders. She pitched 122/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and five walks to go along with 13 strikeouts in a 232-pitch performance.

"She pitched her guts out, she gave us a chance to win," Wyrick said. "Even when she was getting tired, she was giving it her all."

Molly Berkey got the final out in the top of the 13th for the Lady Crusaders.

Helias took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Mallorey Rogers led off with a double and scored one-out later on a double by Paige Schaffer.

The Lady Crusaders doubled their lead in the fourth. Ella Meyer led off with a single and stole second. One out later, Berkey singled Meyer to third before Schaffer got her second RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly to right.

Fatima, who didn't get its first baserunner until two outs in the top of the fourth when Londyn Stuckenschneider walked, got on the board in the fifth.

"We just needed a run, we were trying to inch our way back," Scheppers said.

Allison Schwartz led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Gier and to third by Brandt. Elle Brune then reached on an infield single on a 1-2 pitch to score Schwartz.

Helias stranded two runners in both the fifth and sixth innings before Fatima tied it in the seventh.

Struemph led off with a single and pinch-runner Laney Bassett moved to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Schwartz followed with a single to move Bassett to third, but was thrown out trying to go to second.

After a pop out, Brandt blooped a 2-2 pitch to center to score Basset to tie the game at 2.

"It's a credit to them how many two-strike hits they had," Wyrick said.

Then came the parade of baserunners in extra innings that couldn't find their way home.

"I asked the girls, 'Who is mentally tougher, you or them?'" Scheppers said.

The Lady Crusaders left the bases loaded in both the ninth and 12th innings.

"When the pressure is on the pitcher, we were up there nervous as heck," Wyrick said. "That doesn't make a lot of sense to me."

Schaffer and Liv Bloomer had three hits each for Helias. Struemph paced Fatima with three hits.

Fatima (1-0) is back in action at home today against Southern Boone.

"This isn't necessarily how you want to start a season, but I'm excited for the girls," Scheppers said.

This was the start of a busy week for Helias (0-2), who will host Battle today and Rolla on Wednesday before playing this weekend in the Battle Tournament.

"We'll see what we're made of," Wyrick said.

The varsity game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. today.

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