Hannibal plated multiple runs every inning for a 13-2 North Central Missouri Conference win over Boonville at Veterans Sports Complex.
Coach Kendra Murphy sensed her Hannibal softball team was invigorated with a newfound sense of confidence this week following a comeback victory over Highland.
The Lady Pirates delivered proof Thursday night.
Hannibal plated multiple runs every inning it batted to seize control for a 13-2 North Central Missouri Conference win over Boonville at Veterans Sports Complex.
“We were ready,” Murphy said of the 5-inning romp. “The girls have been hitting the ball well, and they were determined that the Highland game was a turning point and that it's going to be different. They came out, and that's what they did. We've got girls laughing and having a good time again.”
Senior shortstop Olivia Pfeifer led off with a triple to left field to get the offensive onslaught underway in the first inning. Freshman Taylor Simms then promptly smacked the first pitch she saw for an RBI single to make it 1-0.
After experiencing a recent stretch of three straight 1-run losses, even the first tally provided a boost to the Hannibal (8-7, 5-3 NCMC) dugout.
“We need to keep scoring first,” said Simms, who finished 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and 2 runs. “That's what helps us. Those close games are nerve-wracking and we can't get out of the holes sometimes. But this game was really good.”
Hannibal cleanup hitter Lauran Haye doubled to center to drive home Zimms and Josie Zeiger to make it 3-0 before catcher Hailey Whittaker lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to grow the lead to four.
Simms was at it again in the second inning as she singled to center to score No. 9 hitter Kennedy Schmohe and then scored on a Zeiger groundout. Pfeifer raced home via an error on the same play to make it 7-0.
Five Hannibal batters finished the contest with two hits a piece. Pfeifer, the leadoff hitter, led with 3 runs scored and finished with a pair of triples. The success didn't stop at the bottom of the lineup, as the last four in the order combined for seven hits and five runs.
“When you're getting hits all the way up and down the lineup — not only hits, but big hits — that's what you want,” Murphy said. “You can't ask for anything better than that.”
Boonville countered with a tally of its own in the top of the third inning, but the persistent Hannibal squad did not relent, scoring four more in the bottom of the third and another pair in the fourth to continue the rout.
Haley Bautch contributed an RBI groundout to make it 8-1, and Taylor Wilson scored on a Boonville misplay for the home team's ninth tally. Pfeifer then tripled home Schmohe and later scored on a wild pitch.
A Taylor Wilson sacrifice fly provided the 12th run before Bautch extended the fun with her first triple of the season and soon scored on an error. The senior barreled around for three bases as the ball rolled to the center-field fence.
“When Bautch gets a triple, it's a good day,” Murphy said with a smile.
Senior Desarae Garcia picked up the complete game win in the circle, allowing two runs (one earned) while striking out five.
Up next for Hannibal is the Warrenton Tournament this Saturday.