La Monte 21, Sacred Heart 3 (F/3)
The top of the third inning Tuesday during La Monte softball’s road 21-3 victory over Sacred Heart ended with Maya Martin swinging at nearly every pitch of the at bat. She flew out to first base at Centennial Park in Sedalia, but not before the Lady Vikings transformed a one-run lead into a result more fit for football and their scorer’s book into a diamond-patterned coloring book.
La Monte head coach Dabecka Kirk said that while the bats have been “rattling” lately, there was a time she and her team endured blowout losses.
“Several years ago we had a team that this happened to us a lot,” Kirk said. “From a coaching standpoint, you just have to say ‘hey, keep your heads up, keep doing what you’re doing’ As long as you’re working as hard as you can, and you’re doing everything you can, there’s nothing else you can do.”
There was nothing else Miranda Belles could do. A freshman, who started at third base, tossed pitch after pitch in relief during that dreadful third inning.
She began her pitching career Monday at Tipton, and has one takeaway from her limited experience.
“Pitching is hard,” Belles said. “I have a lot of respect for anybody who even gets up at the mound. And I have a lot of respect for the girls who are really good at it.”
Sacred Heart enjoyed a 3-0 lead after stringing three hits, a walk and two hit by pitches together in the first inning.
Every player in La Monte’s lineup scored once, and all but Martin and Kameron Morton scored twice during their 17-run third inning.
The 4-0 Lady Vikings enter Thursday’s matchup at Cole Camp averaging nearly 15 runs per game. First pitch at Cole Camp is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Sacred Heart faces Smithton on the road next Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Sacred Heart 9, La Monte 4
The Gremlins batted around and chased Vikings starter Tristan Hackworth in the sixth inning to overcome a one-run deficit and ultimately defeat La Monte 9-4 Tuesday at Centennial Park in Sedalia.
Hackworth faced three more than the minimum through as many innings before Nick Cashman reached on an error and advanced on two stolen bases and a balk. Sacred Heart stole seven more bags in the closing innings to pull away from La Monte.
Sacred Heart coach Jaric Reid said a lack of baserunners and aggressive approaches prevented the Gremlins from stealing more bases early.
“I had a feeling we could come back and be a little bit more aggressive on the bases, for sure,” Reid said. “But we’ve got to get them on base any which way we can. Early on in the game, we were swinging at balls a little bit up. We were popping a lot of baseballs up, which is, really, pretty uncharacteristic of us because we’re not a power-hitting ball team.”
Brenden Volcko worked a 1-2-3 inning in relief to close out the sixth inning. He entered the game with two runners on in the third, when La Monte scored their four runs. He was perfect the rest of the way.
Reid praised his pitcher after the game.
“He kept us in it, and really gave our offense a chance,” Reid said. “He came in a tough situation, limited the damage and just shoved it the rest of the way.”
Sacred Heart hosts Father Tolton at 5 p.m. Thursday.
La Monte baseball hosts Cole Camp Thursday at 5 p.m.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2