By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Phillip Jordan, softball coach at Joplin College Heights Christian School, expected a winning performance from the Cougars this season.
The Cougars didn’t disappoint.
Class 2 CHC finished 15-8 overall and was 5-0 for its first championship in the Spring River Valley Conference
“I anticipated us having a good year,” Jordan said. “We had experience (from a 10-12 edition). We continued to improve. We had contributions from two first-year players. The pieces fell into place.
“Also, defensively, we played much better this season,” Jordan said. “That made a world of difference. We probably cut our errors in half.
“Definitely, we had chemistry,” Jordan, who was assisted by Ginger Kitchen, said. “This was a cohesive group and fun to be around.
“Our four seniors (right-handed pitcher Kirsty Green, left fielder Jasmine Johnson, right fielder Hannah Laws and shortstop Alison Sauer), definitely were outstanding leaders,” Jordan said. “They will be difficult to replace. They were talented players. I believe Green, Johnson and Sauer were four-year starters. Those four are terrific kids.”
The usual CHC lineup consisted of junior center fielder Hailey Riesenmy, Green, freshman third baseman Nevada Moenning, Sauer, Laws, sophomore second baseman Afton Clevenger, sophomore first baseman Gabby Moore and junior catcher Brianna Shores.
Completing the roster were sophomore outfielder Anna Adcock, freshman outfielder Michaela Keele, freshman outfielder Katy Klunk, sophomore outfielder Mikah Getchell and freshman second sacker Hayden Woolridge.
Moore, with Moenning one of the first-year players, and Klunk attend McAuley Catholic, Jordan said.
Green, also a starter in volleyball, posted a 3.28 ERA in 140 2/3 innings. Opponents batted. 193 and she struck out 160 and walked 57.
Green also averaged .306 with 22 runs scored and 13 RBI.
Riesenmy, who had 10 extra-base hits, averaged .442 and scored 28 runs.
Johnson and Moenning averaged .321 and .311, respectively. Moenning added 16 RBI and 23 runs scored.
Green and the Cougars beat Pierce City 4-1 in winning the SRVC.
Ironically, Jordan said, the game was scheduled for Pierce City but was moved because of field conditions to Sports Park of Southwest Missouri with CHC serving as the visiting team.
But Pierce City extracted sweet revenge when it ousted the Cougars 8-0 in the championship game of the District 5 Tournament at Sarcoxie.
“Obviously, Pierce City was a good ballclub,” Jordan said of the Kacy Gunnels-coached Eagles who reached the quarterfinal round in the playoffs.
Jordan, who teaches physical education at CHC, also is its head baseball coach and middle school girls basketball coach. He replaced Skip Walker as the softball coach.
Jordan, who’s in his third season at CHC, is a graduate of Atlanta (Mo.) High School, Ozark Christian College and Missouri Southern State University.