With the district tournament on the horizon, Richmond softball coach Staci Maddux would like to see better defensive play from her Lady Spartans than she saw during Saturday’s Higginsville Tournament.
Richmond split its four games and will take a 15-7 record into this afternoon’s home finale with Higginsville.
“We hit the ball very well at times,” Maddux said of her team. “But defensively we are not focused. We have to be able to make the routine plays and keep runners from advancing. We have to start putting complete games together.”
Richmond opened the tournament with Lexington and edged the Minutewomen 7-6 after erasing a 5-1 deficit through 3 innings. The Lady Spartans picked up 7 hits in the game and scored 3 runs in the fourth, 2 in the fifth and the game-winner in the sixth. Hayley Clubine gave up 6 runs, but only 4 were earned as she scattered 9 hits, a walk with 4 strikeouts. Whitney Martens was 2 for 2 at the plate with 2 runs scored.
Richmond pounced on Marceline in the second game, 12-1, behind the 14-hit attack and pitching of Martens. Leadoff hitter Hannah Alpers drove in 3 Lady Spartan runs while going 4 of 4 with 4 runs scored. She was also 4 for 4 in stolen bases. Clubine drove in 4 Richmond runs, with Baylyn Jennings bringing in 3 runs on 2 hits.
The Lady Spartan bats struggled in their 10-3 loss to Odessa in the next round. Richmond scored 3 runs in the first inning on 4 hits, but managed just 3 hits over the remaining 6 innings. Stephanie Williams had 2 hits for the Lady Spartans, including an RBI-single in the first.
Meanwhile Odessa collected 16 hits off Martens and Clubine. The Lady Bulldogs scored a run in the first and then added 3 in the third, 3 in the fourth and 3 more in the sixth.
The Lady Spartan offense picked up the pace in their final game, but Higginsville took advantage of 3 unearned runs to pick up a 9-6 victory. Richmond got 8 hits with Hayley Padgett and Martens collecting 2 apiece. Clubine and Jennings each drove in 2 runs.
Higginsville jumped out to a 4-0 lead through the first two innings, but Richmond was able to get on the board with 2 runs in the third on a double from Clubine, but the Lady Huskers erupted for 5 runs in the top of the fourth on a pair of Richmond errors, a passed ball and a walk.
Richmond rallied for 4 runs in the fifth, but then had just one more base runner over the final two frames.