CARROLLTON – Richmond generated baserunners Monday, but not runs. Or at least not enough of them.
The Spartans stranded nine runners during their 2-1 Missouri River Valley Conference East Division road loss to Carrollton in varsity softball. The Trojans stranded three.
“Not a bad ballgame – 2-1 ballgame,” Richmond coach Staci Maddux said. “We just didn’t execute when we had the chance. And we’ve got to do a better job of taking the strike zone that the umpire gives us and being disciplined and hitting … what he’s calling as strikes and staying off the stuff that he’s not calling. And we didn’t do that tonight.
“We didn’t execute our bunts. We didn’t execute (at) … getting runners in scoring position when we had the opportunity. … You’re not going to win many close ballgames when you don’t execute.”
The Spartans executed well enough to take the opening lead in the second inning. Alexis Bokare led off with a left-field double, moved from second to third on a wild pitch and scored when Trinidy Fisk reached base on a two-out error for Richmond’s only run.
Carrollton answered with two runs in the third. The Trojans collected three of their four total hits that inning – a leadoff single by Triniti Gibson, and an RBI single apiece from Madie Hatcher and Racelyn Mathis.
A pitcher’s duel between Abby Vandiver and Alisen Pierson helped keep scoring at a minimum. Vandiver struck out eight and walked one for Richmond. Pierson’s pitching line included six strikeouts, five hits and one walk.
“(Pierson) did an awesome job. … We were in some situations and … it could’ve gone south very quickly,” Carrollton Ragen Carpenter said. “As a leader, she really … stepped up as a pitcher and kept a level head and made it to the next pitch.”
For the Spartans, the loss followed second-place finish Oct. 12 at the St. Joseph Benton Tournament, where they won three of four. They defeated St. Joseph Lafayette 14-3, Maysville 9-5 and Savanah 2-1, and lost to Benton 7-2. Savanah took first based on the runs-allowed tiebreaker, Maddux explained by email.
“I’m very proud of the girls and the way they played,” Maddux stated. “Their approaches at the plate were very aggressive and it proved beneficial.”
It also was the regular-season finale for the Spartans, who begin postseason play at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Class 2 District 14 Tournament at Lathrop against Wednesday’s Lawson-Plattsburg winner. The second-seeded Spartans enter the single-elimination tournament having won five of their last eight ballgames.
“Our district is wide open,” Maddux said. “(Penney of) Hamilton, of course, is undefeated; they’re the team to beat. But I feel like we can play with anybody when we’re playing well.”
Carrollton also is in the Class 2 District 14 Tournament. The Trojans, seeded fourth, open Wednesday against fifth-seeded Lathrop, with the winner to play top-seeded Penney on Thursday. Carrollton also has an MRVC East makeup game with Holden, Carpenter said.
“We’ve got tons of softball to play,” she said.