COLUMBIA — The Hickman softball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 4 state softball tournament Wednesday in chilly 50-degree temperatures with a 7-1 victory over Wentzville-Holt at Rock Bridge High School.
Despite the weather, the Kewpies (25-2) had hot bats in the second inning and handful of stolen bases throughout the seven innings. Although they said they would have liked to play in warmer weather, Kewpies coach Courtney Haskell and pitcher Taylor Cowan agreed that it did not hinder the team's performance.
"The kids were prepared," Haskell said. "We haven't practiced in that, but there's not a whole lot you can do about it."
The Kewpies opened up the game with two runs in the first inning and scored five in the second. The Indians only run came in the bottom of the second inning.
"We came out and hit the ball well, we were hitting it hard," Cowan said.
Although the scoring ended early, Hickman's numerous stolen bases kept the audience engaged. Kewpies runners stole bases in six innings.
"When you see girls throwing a a lot of change-ups that gives you a little more time to get through on the bases, especially when your kids can pick that up, it helps a lot," Haskell said.
Wentzville (16-8) relied on a trick play at the top of the fifth to get its first out of the inning. Catcher Aubri Perez threw the ball high into the air towards first base, successfully tricking base runner Whitney Grathwohl, into believing hitter Kaylin Britt had hit a pop up. Grathwohl, who was on her way to second, returned to first, but was tagged before she reached the plate.
"They got an out out of it, which I'm sure was their goal," Haskell said.
Haskell said that she was proud of her team's victory, calling it a team effort.
"Honestly up and down the lineup they put the ball in play," she said, "and defensively they took care of business."
Hickman moves on to face the winner of Thursday's sectional game between Ozark (23-5) and Webb City (26-3). the game was postponed Wednesday because of wet weather. The Kewpies are set to play the winners on Saturday in Jefferson City.
"For Saturday, we need to come out, hit like we've been hitting and work on our defense and we'll be good," Cowan said.
Haskell echoed the sentiments saying the team would prepare the same way they had all season.