COLUMBIA – Antimi Softball Complex at Cosmopolitan Park was filled with sounds of girls cheering from dugouts, metal bats clanging and fathers berating umpires for unsatisfactory calls.
The Kewpie Classic was in full swing. Rock Bridge finished fifth, and Hickman placed 10th in the 16-team tournament.
The women's softball tournament brought in teams from all over Missouri, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Kirksville and Blue Springs. Each team packed the bleachers despite being as far as a two-hour drive, but Hickman made it clear to visitors that this was its tournament. Purple was everywhere.
"This is our tournament. We want to win it because we host it," Hickman junior Riley Wilson said. "But we're not overanalyzing anything, and we just want to play well more than anything."
Hickman was upset early in the tournament by St. Dominic in a crushing 7-1 defeat.
After the game, Hickman watched Rock Bridge's first game, a 7-1 victory over the Kirksville Tigers. Hickman began cheering on the rival team, and parents wearing purple Hickman jackets began socializing with parents wearing green Rock Bridge Bruin shirts.
"We might play them in district (finals), so we want to learn how they play," junior Molly Carter said. "But we also want to show support for our former teammates."
Molly Carter is one of a few Hickman players who have played on a summer league team with several Rock Bridge players. In Hickman's final game on Friday, the team beat Neosho 12-0. On Saturday, Hickman defeated Park Hill, 7-3, but lost their final game against Kirksville, 4-2.
Rock Bridge lost its second game 6-1 against Troy, a former Kewpie Classic champion. Saturday brought only victory for Rock Bridge with a 3-2 victory over Blair Oaks and a 6-2 victory over St. Dominic in their final game.
Rock Bridge's success can be attributed to its solid defensive effort.
Hickman (12-7) will play again Monday at home against Ritenor. Rock Bridge (16-3) will also play at home Monday against Helias Catholic.