Lebanon softball defeats Hillcrest on Senior Night

Submitted photo
Pictured above are the four seniors for the Lebanon softball team. Pictured from left, are Shannon Jenkins, Cally Blattel, Avery Hlavacek and Kailyn Hazlewood. Lebanon defeated Hillcrest on Monday at Yellowjacket Stadium, 11-9.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

The Lebanon softball team wrapped up their regular season on Senior Night with a come-from-behind win over the Hillcrest Hornets on Monday at Yellowjacket Stadium, 11-9.

Heading into the bottom half of the sixth inning the ‘Jackets trailed 9-6 as catcher Amanda Varble singled into center field and was followed by an Avery Hlavacek double to get the rally started for LHS with just one out. After an error on a Hornets defender,  Lebanon cut the deficit to two runs and received an RBI single from Cally Blattel who finished the night with three hits.

After a strikeout, Lebanon had two outs with runners on second and third with two outs, but junior pitcher Kaylee Keen was able to bloop a ball into the outfield to tie the game for the ‘Jackets, 9-9. Senior first baseman Shannon Jenkins delivered the biggest hit of the game, splitting the Hornets’ outfield for a two-RBI double to give LHS an 11-9 lead.

“What a way to go into the district tournament,” Lebanon head softball coach Stanley Crum said. “I think everyone in the lineup had at least one hit. We were hitting the ball on the nose all night long (on Monday).”

Lebanon finished the game with six errors, according to Crum and he said he would like to clean that up before heading into the district tournament.

“Defensively, we need to tighten up a little bit,” Crum said. “Six errors is something that will cost you ball games and we can’t afford to have a defensive game like that in districts.”

Keen threw a complete game on the mound for LHS, allowing just two earned runs and striking out four Hillcrest hitters.

“Kaylee threw a decent game (on Monday),” Crum said. “I think she only gave up two earned runs because of the errors, but she battled through and pitched a good game.”

The ‘Jackets trailed by as many as 9-4 in the fifth inning, before junior Leslee Weddle delivered a two-out RBI single that scored two.

“This group of girls that we have doesn’t understand what it means to quit,” Crum said. “They stay pretty lose and positive throughout it all … the seniors picked it up in the huddle going into the sixth inning and said, ‘this game is not over.’ ”

Hillcrest started the game off by scoring a run in each of the first three innings. In the bottom of the third inning with Lebanon trailing 3-2, senior Kailyn Hazlewood launched a ball over the left field fence to give the ‘Jackets a 4-3 lead.

With the win, the ‘Jackets finish conference play with an overall record of 5-4 and will play Waynesville in the first round of the Missouri Class 4 District 10 tournament at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Willard High School with Keen getting the start for the ‘Jackets, according to Crum.

“We will be the visitors since they are the lower seed and hopefully we will start out with a few runs,” Crum said. “Normally in the past when we have beaten Waynesville, it was because of our fast starts.

“If we get on top, they have a hard time catching up. They have two of the best hitters in the Ozark Conference in their lineup, including Morgan Loggins who has recored 11 homer runs on the season.”

After the game on Monday, Lebanon honored their four seniors, Cally Blattel, Kailyn Hazlewood, Avery Hlavacek and Shannon Jenkins.

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The Lebanon Daily Record

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