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story.lead_photo.caption Tipton quarterback Blake Fischer (left) prepares to throw the ball during Saturday afternoon's game against Helias' JV team at Tipton. Photo by India Garrish

My work week started with a softball marathon Monday at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex. It ended Saturday afternoon with an entertaining football game in Tipton.

And there was a lot of stuff on the days in between. It was a pretty good week.

The Helias Lady Crusaders and Fatima Lady Comets met in softball Monday. The start time was pushed back an hour due to a storm earlier in the day, but the field was playable and it's always good to see Helias and Fatima on the diamond.

Helias led 2-0 after four innings before Fatima came back with a two-out run in the fifth and one with two outs in the seventh to send the game to extra innings as darkness descended at the Legion Complex.

Starting pitchers Alexa Rehmeier of Helias and Chayce Gier of Fatima were still in the circle as the game went to the eighth inning. And the ninth. And the 10th. And the 11th. And the 12th. And the 13th.

Neither had their best stuff, especially in extra innings. The teams combined to strand 15 runners in extra innings, 11 in scoring position, due in no small part to the grit of the pitchers.

Fatima finally pushed across a run in the top of the 13th, then Gier set down Helias in order to set off a Lady Comet celebration.

Fatima coach Dana Scheppers said there was no thought given to replacing Gier at any point Monday night. It probably would have resulted in a bit of a scene in the middle of the infield if she tried, Gier did not appear to want to leave the circle until the game was done, win or lose.

Tuesday, a little bit of history was made when Jefferson City and Capital City met for the first time in varsity boys soccer as well as in a Central Missouri Activities Conference contest.

It was a bit of a surprise when Capital City, the home team, scored first to take the lead. It was not much of a surprise when Jefferson City rallied for the 7-1 win because the Jays are pretty good this season.

There probably isn't a team in town that wants the season to play out to its scheduled playoff conclusion more than Scott Blake and the soccer Jays.

Wednesday was the under the radar day, just the usual Helias football preview interview before working to finish the News Tribune's award-winning Goal Lines, a look at the weekend ahead for 13 area teams (an absolutely shameless plug for a weekly product you won't see anywhere else).

Thursday started with recording the Helias football podcast with my very good friend and News Tribune sports alumnus Tony Hawley, then a trip back to Capital City to see the soccer Cavaliers, this time against Battle.

The ball bounced a little more in favor of the Cavaliers than it did Tuesday and they picked up their first-ever CMAC victory. Still missing a senior class, there are better days ahead for Capital City.

It was like a outdoor wedding Friday night when Helias visited Hickman in football in Columbia, the limited amount of players for both teams got a plus-1 for the game. The crowd was limited by Columbia rules concerning COVID-19 (I almost made it through the column without using the C word), without a doubt the smallest crowd I've seen in my 30 years of covering Helias football. I'm not faulting Columbia in any way for the decision to limit fans, at least the game was played. Remember, it's all about the kids.

The 7 p.m. game was all but over by 7:20 p.m. as Helias scored four times in the first 7:01 on its way to a 68-18 victory in its CMAC debut.

Saturday, the energy level might have been drooping just a bit. But it was off to Tipton as the Helias junior varsity squared off with the Tipton varsity in a game scheduled last Tuesday after Russellville had to drop the game due to player unavailability.

Tipton needed a game, it didn't want a week off. The Helias JV was short three games due to some programs focusing on freshman-sophomore teams. A win-win.

"Just Mid-Missouri hospitality," Helias JV coach Jeff Pickering said of the friendly, but competitive atmosphere on the field Saturday

Was it the best game ever? No, but I wasn't expecting it to be. It was competitive game between two proud programs, won 27-14 by the Crusaders.

It starts over Tuesday. Who knows what this week will bring?

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