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story.lead_photo.caption Players get ready Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, at Falcon Athletic Complex in Wardsville for non-conference softball action between Blair Oaks and Fulton. Photo by Kyle McAreavy

WARDSVILLE, Mo. — The Fulton Lady Hornets got all they would need early.

Class 3 No. 4-ranked Fulton took down the No. 2-ranked Blair Oaks Lady Falcons 5-3 during non-conference softball action Monday at the Falcon Athletic Complex.

The Lady Hornets scored all five of their runs in the first two innings to build the lead that would hand the Lady Falcons their first loss of the season.

"Coming into it, we knew they were a really good team and we feel we are as well," Blair Oaks coach Sharon Buschjost said. "So I was really looking for a battle between two really good teams and that's what it was."

Reagan Echelmeier got the Lady Hornets on the scoreboard in the top of the first when she took a leadoff walk, moved to third on Alex Trowbridge's single to left and scored when Jayna Hedgpath sent a double to the right field wall.

Hedgpath's double cleared the loaded bases after Rylee Caswell walked following Trowbridge's hit. Caswell stayed alive in the batter's box after a pop up in foul territory dropped to the dirt and kept the inning going for the Lady Hornets.

Fulton scored two more in the second.

Kyela Macon lined a ball that one-hopped the wall in left field for a double, then Echelmeier walked again before a Riley Baker sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third.

A wild pitch allowed Macon to score, then Trowbridge doubled to the wall in left center to bring in Echelmeier.

"These players are smart and mature, and they know if we made a couple of plays, that it's a different story and a different game," Buschjost said. " Every inning, I felt like we were in a position to add on to the score and I was proud of that."

The Lady Falcons began to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the first.

Kadence Kliegel reached base on a fielder's choice before Andi Siebeneck hit a hard ground ball and forced an error. Kliegel sprinted toward the plate when the ball traveled into left field and slid in just under the tag for the Lady Falcons' first run.

Blair Oaks added another run in the third when Siebeneck reached base on another error, then moved to second when Anna Hankins hit a ground ball toward short and beat the throw at first for a single.

With two outs, Grace Boessen singled up the middle and Siebeneck beat the throw to the plate to cut the Lady Hornets' lead to 5-2.

Macee Ernst walked and Kliegel smacked an RBI double to the wall in left field for the Falcons' lone run in the third. "Slow start, but we fought and clawed our way back to make a game of it against a very, very good team," Buschjost said.

Olivia Moyer started in the circle for the Lady Falcons and pitched two innings, allowing five runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out two.

Siebeneck came on in relief, pitching five scoreless innings and allowing only three hits, while striking out six.

Miley Hawkins started for the Lady Hornets, pitching five innings and allowing three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out one to earn the win.

Brilee Ash notched a save for Fulton with two scoreless innings pitched, allowing only one baserunner on a hit.

"I gave kudos to Andi Siebeneck for coming in and shutting the door on their offense and really shutting it down," Buschjost said. "I thought she had a really impressive appearance."

Blair Oaks (6-1) plays host to Helias, who received votes in the Class 5 rankings this week, at 5 p.m. today.

Blair Oaks beat Fulton 6-0 during JV action Monday in Wardsville.

Ava Willson pitched all five innings of shutout ball for the Lady Falcons, allowing six hits and striking out four.

Julie Braun had one hit, one RBI and one run scored for the Lady Falcons, while Morgan Luebbering had a hit and a run scored.

Chesney Luebbering walked and scored a run, as did Kenadi Braun, while Alyssa Reinkemeyer had a hit, a walk and a run scored.

Baley Rackers added a run scored and an RBI to the Lady Falcons' offensive effort.

The win moves Blair Oaks to 6-2 on the season.

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