Lady Raiders softball sweeps State Fair with 17 runs

Lady Raiders softball sweeps State Fair with 17 runs

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. - Three Rivers had 24 hits and scored 17 runs in a doubleheader where the offense "struggled."

After leading the country recently in team batting average, the Raiders are working on adjustments at the plate but were able to beat State Fair 9-1 in five innings in Friday's opener and 8-3 in the nightcap at McLane Park.

"We're just not playing to our abilities," Three Rivers coach Jeff Null said. "Everybody is trying to do too much. Not every pitch is a pitch you can drive out of the park."

Some of those adjustments happened in the third inning of the nightcap when Three Rivers (19-1, 8-1 Region XVI), trailing 2-0 at the time, broke through with six runs.

Brianna Everett had a three-run home run for her seventh homer of the season. She also leads the team with 38 RBIs.

Soon after, Lauren Joyner added a two-run home run for her ninth of the season. Gracie Thomas, who was 3 for 3 with two runs in the game, had a solo home run in the fifth inning.

Molly Spangler also had three hits and scored, and Jaime Lee had a pair of doubles.

"We're very spurty offensively. There's not a weak spot in the lineup. It's just a matter of consistency," Null said. "It's more mental than anything. I don't think it's a physical thing necessarily. We just have to change our mental approach a little bit."

Makale Floyd (1-0) earned her first win of the season after pitching the first three innings and allowing two hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

Cayton Sloan pitched the next three innings. The only hit she allowed was a solo home run. She also had two strikeouts.

Makenna Moore pitched the seventh against the top of the State Fair lineup and allowed two hits and no walks. She ended the game with a strikeout against State Fair's No. 3 hitter Alexis Gilliland.

"She hadn't thrown a lot lately, so I wanted to get her in," Null said of Moore. "She threw well, had a big strikeout against their best hitter."

Three Rivers jumped ahead in the opener with four runs in the first inning and were ahead 7-0 after three.

Kyla Puckett had a three-run homer in the first inning for her third home run of the season.

Everett was 3 for 3 with a run and two RBIs, while Zoe Bisby and Jenny Morey each had two hits.

Kindi Puckett (10-1) had a complete-game win and allowed four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.

The Raiders will finish their four-game series against State Fair (10-16, 2-10) on April 17 in Sedalia.

"We're 19-1 going into Easter," Null said. "I would have taken that at the beginning of the year.

"It's not necessarily the scoreboard we're looking at. It's our at-bats and swings and getting good pitches."


Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic