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Lady Spartans fall in extra innings

The Richmond Lady Spartan softball team was living on the edge all night in their MRVC East contest at home with Higginsville. By the time the 11-inning marathon ended, the Lady Huskers left town with a 7-6 conference victory.
Richmond collected a season-high 19 hits in the contest as the Lady Spartans slipped to 1-4 in the league and 4-11 overall. Despite the loss, coach Staci Maddux said it was a good game for her young Lady Spartans.
“We played well defensively and communicated well,” she said. “Offensively, we just didn’t get the big hits when we needed them. Stephanie Williams continues to hit very well for us and I am very proud of the leadership that Kayla Hewitt is showing on the field. She has really stepped up for us.”
Maddux was also pleased with the pitching of freshman Katherine Dale. Dale worked the final 8 innings and battled her way through 35 Husker batters and allowed 5 earned runs while giving up 14 hits and a pair of walks.
Although leading 4-1 through 5 innings, Richmond had dodged a lot of Lady Husker bullets as the visitors had stranded 7 runners.
Higginsville finally broke through with a pair of runs in the sixth and 3 more in the top of the seventh to take a 6-5 lead into the home half of the seventh.
Haley Padgett coaxed a walk to begin the home half of the inning and advanced to second on a passed ball. With two outs, Padgett brought home the tying run on a single from Jamie Anderson.
Dale left more Higginsville runners stranded in extra innings. The Lady Huskers left a runner at third in the ninth and another one at first in the 10th before finally pushing across the game winner in the 11th.
Meanwhile, the Lady Spartans had a base runner eliminated in an inning-ending double play in the eighth and one more in the ninth.
Jessica Goetz led off the 11th for Higginsville with a single, followed by another single by Erin Hursman. With two outs, Sara Houston singled to bring in the lead run.
Richmond did not go quietly in the bottom of the inning. Stephanie Williams led off with her second double – her fourth hit of the game – but was standing on third when the final out was recorded.
The Lady Spartans scored a pair of runs in the first on a leadoff single from Ashley Williams and one-out single from Stephanie Williams.
Alex Phillips and Chelsea Hook followed with RBI-singles for Richmond.
The Lady Spartan lead reached 4-0 in the fourth when Tessa Ramsey was hit by a pitch to begin the frame, followed by back-to-back singles from Anderson and Ashley Williams.
Following a fielder’s choice by Hewitt, Stephanie Williams added a run-scoring single, but Higginsville got out of the inning without further damage as the next three batters were retired.
PHOTO:Richmond shortstop Kayla Hewitt flags down a high throw while covering third during Tuesday’s 11-inning loss at home to Higginsville. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News.)

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