By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Webb City and Ozark are making a habit of meeting in the MSHSAA softball playoffs.
The latest chapter is scheduled today with Ozark visiting for the Class 4 sectional game. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
Webb City has finished third the past two seasons in Class 4 and each time ousted Ozark in the first round.
The Cardinals (23-4) have defeated Ozark (24-6) twice this season. They won 9-3 at Ozark in winning the Central Ozark Conference Large Division. They beat the Tigers 8-4 during the Carthage Tournament.
Ozark, scoring eight runs in the second inning, defeated Branson on its field 12-2 in five innings on Monday in capturing the District 11 Tournament.
Said Webb City coach Walter Resa: “Ozark is a talented team. Obviously, they (the Tigers) are capable of scoring several runs. Coach (Yancey) Little does a great job and gets the most out of his players. They play a lot of games together outside of school ball.
Ozark, in its decisive second inning against the Pirates, received a three-run double from No. 9 hitter Ashley O’Brien, a two-run single from Bailey Elliott and a two-run home run from Bailey Click.
“We had to rally from a 3-1 deficit through four innings in the game at Ozark (this season),” Resa said. “We were able to score five runs in the sixth and seventh innings.”
Resa said junior right-hander Kaitlin Beason, the winning hurler in the previous Ozark games this season, is the probable starting pitcher for the Cardinals.
“Kaitlin (Beason) has to mix her pitches, move the ball in and out and change speeds,” Resa said. “Ideally, we’d like to keep (all-stater) Hailee Vigneaux off base.”
Beason, 14-2 with a 1.60 earned run average, also is a stalwart at the plate with a .399 average, six homers, 24 RBI and 36 runs scored.
Sophomore shortstop Desirea Buerge paces the Cardinals in average (.443) and RBI (25) and has scored 32 runs.
Catcher Emily Harris, a freshman, is averaging .395 with six homers and 24 RBI. Junior DP Lacy Resa is averaging .397 with 22 RBI and 29 runs scored.
The probable Webb City lineup consists of junior second sacker Asia Bemo, Resa, Beason, Buerge, junior Morgan Lammey, Harris, junior right fielder Samantha Gilstrap, junior center fielder Mikaela Burgess, junior third baseman Megan Heman and junior first baseman Amanda Wallace.
The Webb City-Ozark winner faces Columbia Hickman or Rolla in the quarterfinals.