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With the first MRVC East softball title within their grasp, the Richmond Lady Spartans wasted very little time in claiming their very first league championship Tuesday afternoon at Knob Noster.
Richmond scored 5 runs in the second inning and then sent 14 batters to the plate in a 10-run third inning on the way to an 18-3, 4-inning win over the Lady Panthers.
The Lady Spartans end the conference season with a 9-1 record and will take a 17-7 overall mark into this afternoon’s district opener with St. Pius at Excelsior Springs.
“The girls should be very proud of themselves,” Richmond Coach Staci Maddux said. “They’ve worked hard and they deserve this. They have done something no other Lady Spartan team has been able to do and I’m very proud of all of them.”
Leadoff hitter Hannah Alpers drove in 5 runs for Richmond on three hits, including an inside-the-park home run with the bases loaded during the Lady Spartans’ second inning.
She also drew a bases-loaded walk to plate another run in the third. Hayley Clubine drove 5 runs to the plate as she added another inside-the-park home run with two runners on during Richmond’s 3-run fourth.
The Lady Spartans also got 2 RBIs apiece from Baylyn Jennings and Kayla Hewitt, while Stephanie Williams, Whitney Martens, Katie Spiers and Hayley Padgett drove in one run each. The Lady Spartans collected a dozen hits and drew 6 walks, and left just 2 runners on base.
While the Richmond bats were providing plenty of offense, Martens held the Knob Noster batters in check as she gave up just one earned run on 3 hits, 6 walks and 5 strikeouts. The 3 runs she allowed came in the third inning on a pair of walks, a triple, a passed ball and an error.
The Lady Spartan junior varsity ended its season with a 3-1 loss in a 3-inning contest. Adrian Tackett and Evyn Pearson had one single each for Richmond’s only hits in the game. Kristie Spiers drew a walk and scored the Lady Spartans lone run in the first.
She also pitched 2 innings and gave up 4 hits, a walk, and a hit batter with a pair of strikeouts.
PHOTO: The Richmond Lady Spartans captured their first-ever league championship with a 9-1 record in the first year of the MRVC East Conference. Richmond capped the regular season Tuesday with an 18-3 win at Knob Noster. (File photo by Russ Green/The Daily News)