Jefferson City used a No. 1-quality start by its No. 2 pitcher to baffle the Hickman softball team. The Jays defeated the Kewpies 6-0 on Tuesday night at Cosmopolitan Park.
Jefferson City’s Kendra Wilson pitched a complete game and allowed one hit, striking out two.
“She wasn’t their strongest pitcher by any means,” Hickman coach Courtney Diehl said. “They’re a solid team defensively. They always have been, and they probably always will be. We just couldn’t get anything to fall.”
Hickman (6-10) didn’t gain its first base runner until the fourth inning. Wilson and catcher Rachel Prewett collided trying to catch Lindsey Rock’s shallow pop fly in front of home plate.
Jessica Perry led off the sixth with the Kewpies’ hit. Katie Johanning then reached on first baseman Jestine Gerber’s error. Shana White grounded into a fielder’s choice for the first out. She then stole second and Johanning stole third. Johanning was thrown out at home after Kelsy Merideth bunted. Rock then flied out to center, stranding two runners.
Hickman’s defensive miscues coupled with Jefferson City’s timely hitting allowed the Jays to score three runs in each of the first two innings. Hickman’s Stefani Worley allowed six hits in those innings but gave up three in the final five. Diehl said Worley was leaving too many pitches over the middle of the plate early but gave her credit for hitting her spots later.
“It wasn’t her smartest two innings, but it’s not her fault that they scored,” Diehl said. “Everybody struggles. She’s going to get hit and we’ve got to be able to make the plays defensively. We made a whole lot of mental errors out there, along with physical errors.”
The Kewpies had one bright spot defensively. Right fielder Denise Buxton, who is playing with a torn left anterior cruciate ligament, made a spectacular diving catch in the sixth inning while nearly crashing into the fence.