By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Monett vs. Bolivar in the MSHSAA Class 3 softball playoffs is a rematch of a recent nonconference outing.
But apparently the opposing head coaches have been unable to glean much value from the 11-10 Monett win on Sept. 13 at Bolivar.
Said Bolivar coach Jay Halbrook: “It wasn’t a good night to be a pitcher.”
Said Monett coach Ty Goetz: “The wind was blowing out. I believe we hit three home runs and easily could have had a fourth.”
Added Halbrook with a laugh: “I may be wrong. But I believe the scoring will be different — perhaps a low-scoring game.”
Monett, 22-5 and Big 8 Conference champion for the first time, entertains Bolivar, 20-9, in the 6 p.m. contest.
Said Goetz: “Bolivar is a solid team and offensively the players (Liberators) all swing the bats well. They’re quick and aggressive on the bases.”
Said Halbrook: “Monett is a very good team. The offense is good. They have very good defense and pitching. We don’t have as much experience.”
Monett, which finished 18-10 overall last season, lost to Nevada in sectionals.
“We didn’t have a senior last year,” Goetz said. “We have a different mindset. Now, we expect to compete and perhaps move on.”
Halbrook said senior right-hander Tristia Patton, who’s 20-8 as the pitching ace, also is a leader at the plate with a .516 average, 12 doubles, eight triples, three home runs and 42 RBI.
Bolivar numbers also include .469 and 37 runs scored for senior catcher Jaelyn Halbrook, .382 and 21 RBI for senior center fielder Abby Martin and .363 and 10 extra-base hits for sophomore shortstop Taylor Sechler.
Halbrook, who’s in his fourth year as head coach, is a graduate of Salem High School and Southwest Baptist University.
Goetz said sophomore right-hander Allie Krueger is the probable starting pitcher for the Cubs.
She’s 8-3, Goetz said, and is an offensive catalyst from her leadoff spot with a .329 average and 31 stolen bases.
Following Allie Krueger in the batting order, Goetz said, will be senior center fielder Raigan Ratliff, junior first baseman Kelsey Wiseman, sophomore second baseman Abby Krueger, senior third baseman Josee Krueger, senior catcher Andrea Soriano, sophomore shortstop Brooke Madison, sophomore right fielder Brooke Burnside and senior left fielder Jessica Harper.
Leading hitters for the Cubs include Wiseman (.427, 22 RBI), Josee Krueger (.410, four homers, 22 RBI), Madison (.366) and Burnside (.340). Ratliff also was 14-2 on the mound while Allie Krueger battled a sore shoulder.
The Kruegers are sisters and Abby and Allie are twins.
Goetz, who’s assisted by Amber Holman, is a graduate of Purdy High School and Missouri Southern. He’s in his sixth season as head coach.
Blair Oaks or Sullivan will face the Monett-Bolivar winner in the quarterfinals.