The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

October 19, 2013

Webb City earns trip to state softball semifinals

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City High School is making a habit of reaching the semifinals in state softball.

The Cardinals made it for the 10th time and three out of the last four years by beating Columbia Hickman 6-3 on Saturday in a Class 4 quarterfinal.

Right-hander Kaitlin Beason took a three-hit shutout into the seventh inning and batterymate Morgan Lammey, a fellow senior, drove in three runs to pace the two-time state champions.

Webb City (21-4) will face Eureka (26-4) at 1 p.m. on Friday in the semifinals in Springfield at the Killian Sports Complex.

Eureka, which finished fourth in 2012, ousted Oakville 2-0 in another quarterfinal.

Lee’s Summit (22-6) and Parkway North (20-6) clash in the other semifinal. Lee’s Summit beat defending champion Independence Truman 1-0 and Parkway North outlasted Fort Zumwalt 5-3 in 15 innings.

Hickman, which was striving for its first semifinal appearance, finished 20-9. It marked the second time the Kewpies had been denied by Webb City.

Webb City this time scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and four in the fifth to take command.

Beason, who weathered four hits to open the seventh inning, finished with nine strikeouts. She allowed seven hits but didn’t walk a batter.

“They were swinging hot bats,” Beason said of the Kewpies. “But we kept them off balance and I knew to keep my pitches low. Our defense also played well.

“We’re hard to stop once we get going,” Beason said of the Cardinals’ offense.

Webb City struck in the fourth inning with one out. Lacy Resa doubled, Beason was given an intentional walk and Desirea Buerge doubled for the first run. Beason was thrown out at the plate on the hit for the second out before Lammey singled home Buerge.

Mikaela Burgess singled to start the Webb City fifth inning. Megan Heman forced Burgess but Asia Bemo drew a walk. Resa forced Heman at third for the second out before the Cardinals received a break.

Beason’s ground ball was thrown away to allow Bemo to score and place runners at second and third. Hickman then opted to intentionally walk Buerge.

Lammey spoiled that strategy with a single up the middle to score Resa and courtesy runner Peyton Rogers. Samantha Gilstrap’s second single of the game then plated Buerge.

Said Cardinal coach Walter Resa: “The wind was blowing out but there were two solid pitchers (Beason and Kewpie junior right-hander Shannon Greene). We were focusing on singles and doubles to make it a team game.

“Beason was intentionally walked in the fourth inning and Buerge got the hit. Later (in the fifth), Buerge was purposely walked and Lammey got the hit, That’s having each other’s back and supporting one another.”

Said Hickman coach Courtney Haskell: “Webb City capitalized on our mistake (the error in the fifth made those runs unearned). Webb City also had some big hits.”

Haskell said that Bemo, playing second base, prevented a Kewpie run in the fourth inning by diving to keep a single on the infield after a double by Molly Carter.

Carter’s hit snapped a string of 10 straight outs by Beason to start the game.

“Our kids never panicked,” Haskell said of the three-run seventh. “They were still keeping on the pressure.”

“Hickman wasn’t going to quit. We had to earn it,” coach Resa said.

Beason responded by striking out two of the last three batters.

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