After a strong 9-0 start that has seen the Jasper Lady Eagles finish eight of their nine games early via the 10-run rule, the toughest part of the softball schedule looms with a swing through Kansas.
Then when they return to Missouri, Jasper faces the only Missouri team that beat them last year — Liberal.
“These next few games, traditionally have been the toughest teams we’ll play,” said Jasper Lady Eagle head coach David Osborn. “They probably will be the best competition we’ll face all year and hopefully we can step up. Last year we stepped up and played with them.”
The Lady Eagles start this tough batch of games with a home game Tuesday versus Riverton, Kan.
Then they travel to Baxter Springs on Friday to take on the only team that beat them twice in last year’s 18-4 campaign. The next game is a varsity double-header on April 16 against St. Mary’s Colgan, in Pittsburg, Kan., a team the Lady Eagles split two games with last year.
They return home on April 17 to play Liberal, a team that handed them their only loss from a Missouri team last year.
“We hope we’re a little bit better team than last year,” Osborn said. “So far we’re 9-0 and eight of the nine have been by the 10-run rule. Lets hope we can keep it up.”
On Friday, the Lady Eagles started out slow, but ended up beating Golden City with the 10-run rule, winning 12-2 in five innings.
Jasper scored one in the first inning, three in the second, five in the third and three in the fourth to take a 12-0 advantage. Golden City fought back with two runs in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the early ending.
“Our defense was a little suspect at times,” Osborn said. “We didn’t hit real well. There were a lot of strikeouts looking and that’s not what we normally do. The umpire was consistent, we just watched them go by, which is definitely not what we want to happen.”
Jasper’s lead-off hitter, Amanda Darrow was 3-3 with a double and four runs scored, while Liz Dickson and Maxine Steeves each drove in two runs, Dickson on a 1-4 hitting night and Steeves in her only at-bat.
Autumn Frickenschmidt was her normal dominating self on the mound with 11 strikeouts while going 2-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.
Adi Etcheson, Abbie Smith and Kylin Garvin each had a hit in the game while Malia Potts walked in each of her three at-bats and scored three runs.