CASSVILLE, Mo. — Early offense fueled the Joplin softball team in its first win on Thursday as it downed Cassville 9-5 at Cassville High School.

The Eagles’ first triumph of the season arrived just two games into the campaign — a feat that took Joplin 11 games to accomplish a year ago.

“We played really well,” Joplin coach Manny Flores said. “We had a little sluggish first inning but were able to limit the damage. Our offensive attack put pressure on their defense. We had a couple of big innings, and our pitching and defense did an excellent job of shutting them down. I’m proud of the way we played today.”

The Eagles plated four runs in the second inning and five more in the third to go up 9-2. The Joplin defense took over from there, limiting Cassville to three runs in the final five frames to secure the victory.

Abby McGinnis led the Eagles at the plate with two hits in four appearances, driving in two runs and crossing home plate twice. Bailey Ledford and Izzy Yust both tallied a pair of hits, while Elisabeth Snider, Reece Schroer, Ryleigh Surridge and Ashley Phillips logged one hit apiece.

Starting pitcher Madisyn Tracy earned the win for Joplin after tossing six complete innings and limiting Cassville to three earned runs on six hits. Closer Brittany Shryock entered in the seventh and surrendered one earned run on two hits. The pitchers struck out one batter apiece.

For Cassville, Kyren Postlewait came a single shy of hitting for the cycle. She finished 3 for 4 with one home run, one triple, one double and a team-high three RBI.

Cassville starting pitcher Bell Edwards surrendered two earned runs and six hits in the first three innings before reliever Alyssa Whisenhurt shutout Joplin in the final four frames.

Joplin competes in the Paige Neal/Christina Freeman Softball Tournament at the Joplin Athletic Complex today and Saturday.

WEBB CITY 4, MONETT 1

MONETT, Mo. — A four-run sixth lifted the Webb City softball team to a season-opening victory over Monett.

Emily Welch opened the scoring for the Cardinals in the pivotal sixth frame with an RBI single before Kaylyn Gilbert drove in three more runs on a triple for a 4-0 lead.

An RBI single by Monett’s Allyson Inman pulled the Cubs to within three runs and marked the final score of the game.

Webb City tallied four hits, with one apiece coming from Welch, Gilbert, Bri Batson and Brynna Cupp.

Starting pitcher Haidyn Berry tossed seven complete innings, limiting Monett to five hits and one earned run while striking out seven.

Cubs starting pitcher Caitlyn Calhoun also went seven innings and surrendered four earned runs and four hits. She also struck out a pair of batters and walked one.

Calhoun paced the Monett offense with two hits in three plate appearances, including a triple.

Both teams compete in the Paige Neal/Christina Freeman Softball Tournament today and Saturday at the Joplin Athletic Complex.

TENNIS

TJ 9, NEVADA 0

NEVADA, Mo. — The Thomas Jefferson girls tennis team swept Nevada to improve to 2-1.

In singles play, Allison Ding defeated Alissa Stutesman 8-0, Johanna Jeyaraj defeated Emily Boutassa 8-0, Juliana Joseph defeated Hailey Elkinton 8-0, Sydney Stamps defeated Caitlyn Roberts 8-0, Victoria Henson-Miyauchi defeated Laura Kimmell 8-3 and Jessica Joseph defeated Susannah Kimmell 8-4.

The Cavaliers also went unbeaten in doubles, with Ding-Jeyaraj defeating Stutesman-Boutassa 8-0, Juliana Joseph-Stamps defeating Elkinton-Roberts 8-0 and Henson-Miyauchi-Jessica Joseph defeating Kimmell-Kimmell 8-3.

Thomas Jefferson plays host to College Heights on Tuesday.

SOCCER

Carl Junction 3, Parkview 2

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Nick Neil’s two goals aided Carl Junctionin a 3-2 win over Parkview.

Neil had back-to-back goals to open the second half, both assisted by Jose Figueroa, to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead by the 60th minute. Parkview scored the final goal of the night in the 79th minute.

Carson Bittner also scored for Carl Junction to tie the game at 1 midway through the first half. The Bulldogs finished with seven shots on goal, while Parkview had nine.

CJ goalie Chris King recorded seven saves.

The Bulldogs (2-2) play at Monett on Monday.

VOLLEYBALL

JOPLIN WINS HOME OPENER

Joplin made a successful season debut inside Kaminsky Gymnasium by beating Cassville 3-1 (23-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-7) on Thursday night.

Aubrey Ritter led the Eagles (1-1) with 11 kills, and Kacy Coss and Allie Lawrence contributed 10 and nine kills, respectively. Coss also made four blocks and served 14 points, and Ritter added 12 points and 17 digs.

Addison Saunders collected 20 assists and 12 points, and Baileigh Riley and Kaylie Anderson had 15 assists and 11 digs, respectively.

“We started a little rocky,” Joplin coach Staci Saunders said. “We came together the second, third and fourth sets and played lights-out volleyball. Like I’ve told people, we don’t have a standout star. We have eight kids who play really well together, and I feel like we showed that tonight. If we can keep that mentality, that will bode well for us.

“Kacy Coss played with confidence and made some big plays. Our setters did a great job making good decisions, and Aubrey Ritter is a well-rounded player, a steady, calming force for us.”

The Eagles celebrate Senior Night on Tuesday against McDonald County.

COLLEGE HEIGHTSWINS OPENER

Four players combined for 22 kills as the homestanding Cougars swept Lockwood 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-11) to start their volleyball season.

Laney Lett had seven kills and two blocks for CHC. Layne Jackson, Emma Woodford and Catie Secker each added five kills, and Jackson matched Lett’s two blocks.

Setter Sarah Painter handed out 23 assists and served 16 points, and Avery Good led the defense with 23 digs.

The Cougars have another home match Tuesday night against Pierce City.

CARDINALS EARN SWEEP

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — Brenda Lawrence and Maddy Peeples registered 11 and 10 kills, respectively, to aid Webb City (2-0) to a straight-set sweep, 25-20, 25-20, 25-11, over Harrisonville on Thursday night.

Peeples also tallied 15 digs while Lawrence had 13. Anna Hettinger led the Cardinals in assists with 21, and Kenzie Storm logged five kills and three aces.

Webb City plays host to Aurora on Monday.

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