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The Richmond Lady Spartans battled through the rain and visiting Higginsville Monday afternoon to creep to within one victory of claiming the MRVC East softball championship. Richmond got some revenge for a loss to the Lady Huskers over the weekend with a hard-fought 6-3 decision to take an 8-1 league record into this afternoon’s regular-season finale at Knob Noster.
Richmond Coach Staci Maddux said it was a great team effort despite playing in less-than-desirable conditions.
“We played through our mistakes and the girls wanted it bad,” she said. “Hayley Clubine did a great job pitching with a wet ball and Baylyn (Jennings) was a vacuum behind the plate. Kayla Hewitt played very well at shortstop, and all the outfielders played well having to work with the wet ball.”
Maddux added that the home crowd was also a great help while sitting in the rain.
Clubine finished for starter Whitney Martens who faced five batters in just over one inning. Clubine scattered 7 hits and walked 5 in her 6 innings of work. She was charged with 3 runs, 2 earned, while striking out 4. Martens did not allow a run and gave up one hit and one walk.
Richmond eased some of the pressure early by jumping out to a 5-run lead after the first inning. The first three Lady Spartan batters reached with Hannah Alpers drawing a walk, followed by a single from Megan Phipps and another walk to Clubine. With one out, Stephanie Williams and Martens delivered with back-to-back run-scoring singles, with Hewitt also reaching on a single.
The Lady Spartan lead was extended to 6-0 in the second inning with Jennings reaching on a one-out single, followed by back-to-back singles from Williams and Martens. Hewitt pushed the final Richmond run home with her fielder’s choice.
Higginsville’s first run came home in the top of the third, and the visitors added 2 more in the fourth. Higginsville had opportunities in two of the final three innings. The Lady Huskers stranded three runners in the fifth and three more in the seventh – and had a runner cut down at the plate trying to score.
The Richmond junior varsity struggled to get hits in their 9-0 loss to Higginsville. Hayley Bentley had the lone Lady Spartan hit with her fifth-inning single. Chelsea Hook and Adrian Tackett each drew a walk for Richmond.