COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge softball coach Janel Twehous understood the emotion coming into the Bruins' game against Hickman. She's experienced it for the past 11 years.
This time, however, the players she was used to coaching were on the other team.
Rock Bridge junior Lauren Fuller was winning pitcher, throwing four strikeouts in a complete game effort.
The Bruins outhit the Kewpies 10-4 and first baseman Whitney Wipfler hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.
The Bruins (13-2) will play St. Teresa Academy on Friday in Columbia. Hickman (9-7) plays next against North Kansas City on Saturday in Kansas City.
Twehous is in her first year as coach of the Bruins, taking over for former coach Joe Henderson. Before taking the job, she was an assistant coach for the Kewpies. So she was more than familiar with the competition.
“There a bunch of wonderful girls. Lots of respect for them, good kids,” said Twehous about the Kewpies.
She also said Rock Bridge's 3-0 victory Thursday evening at MU’s University Field was a different experience for her.
“It’s a very emotional game,” Twehous said. “Of course the girls have high expectations of themselves, and that’s where the problem comes in.”
Twehous said that because of the emotions attached to the rivalry it is difficult to know what to expect.
“You never know what’s going to come," she said. "You’ve got two teams, you don’t know what the outcome is going to be, only the softball Gods do.”
Bruins assistant coach Steve Shufelberger recognizes Twehous’ contribution to the team. “She knows her stuff,” he said.
Twehous pitched in college at William Jewel in Liberty before becoming an assistant coach at Hickman.