Saturday afternoon was supposed to be a day of celebration for the Hannibal softball team as the Lady Pirates celebrated senior day as well as wearing pink jerseys in honor of breast cancer awareness.
"(Kirksville) is the No.1 team in the conference," Hannibal coach Brock Sousa said. "And for the first five innings, we were playing like that with them. They were hitting the ball, but we were flying around the bases and making plays. We were hitting and we were running. We were making the throws that needed to be made. We were playing excellent softball."
For the first four innings, it was as the Lady Pirates jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but by the time the game was over, Kirksville had comeback to beat Hannibal 23-5.
"The final score does not show or depict how the game went," Sousa said. "Those first five innings we did real well."
After a 1-2-3 first inning helped by a Kirksville runner being thrown out trying to steal second, Sammi Riley led off the bottom of the first and was hit by the pitch. Abby Conn then reached on an error before Gabby York popped out to short. That brought Elaina Myer to the plate and she responded with a two-run double to center to give Hannibal the lead. However, Myer was thrown at at third trying to stretch the double into a triple.
Now with two outs and the bases empty, Kara Lockwood and Jasmine Winningham both singled to put runners on first and second. That brought Brandi Ehret to the plate and she reached on an error by the Kirksville second basemen that allowed both runners to score. Ehret was then thrown out trying to steal second base to end the inning with Hannibal leading 4-0.
"(The 4-0 lead) showed them that they can do it," Sousa said. "They had it in their heads that they could win and that they were playing great. It was great to see."
Hannibal scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth inning. After York flied out to open the home half the inning, Myer blasted another double. She moved to third on a ground out by Lockwood and scored when Wilson reach on an error by the Kirksville first baseman.
Kirksville scored 18 runs in the final two innings, with 10 of them coming in the top of the seventh inning.
"In those last two innings, the wheels kind of came off," Sousa said. "It was kind of a snowball. Once one thing happened to one girl it happened to the next girl and kind of spread around. It was kind of hard to come back from that. They scored all their runs at the end of the game."