HANNIBAL — The Hannibal softball team closes out its conference schedule with a 7-4 win over Mexico at home on Wednesday.
Hannibal’s offense jumped out to seven runs off of 10 hits and three walks, after being limited to one run the previous two games.
“It’s nice to see it all come together,” said Hannibal head coach Andrew Pollard. “It’s frustrating that other teams don’t know what our players can do. We have five seniors and all of them should be All-Conference and the stats don’t show that because the slumps we’ve been in.”
Hannibal starting pitcher Kylie McAfee pitched out of an early jam in the first inning, stranding two Mexico baserunners while keeping the game scoreless.
In the bottom of the first, catcher Taylor Simms came up with a two-out single and was driven in by a McAfee single to take a 1-0 Pirates lead.
Hannibal center fielder Sydney Hart led off the third inning with a single and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Chloe Simms. Hart would score on a Taylor Simms single, who later scored on an error.
In the fifth inning, Hannibal began the frame with Chloe Simms single and a Taylor Simms walk, with both players being driven in by a McAfee single.
Pollard said his team was able to get hits in key situations, instead of being spread out throughout the game.
“I told Sydney and Chloe before the game we win when they get on base,” Pollard said. “They are the spark plugs for our team and once they get going, then fittingly our team follows.”
Mexico scored a run in the sixth inning from an RBI single from Karlee Sefrit.
The bottom of the lineup got a sixth inning rally for Hannibal when Gracey Whittaker singled and Lauren Bramblett walked. The pair of players were later driven in by RBI singles from Hart and Chloe Simms.
Mexico made a late push in the seventh inning, scoring three runs off of five hits.
“It’s always nice to have that little cushion,” Pollard said. “Going into the top of the seventh with a six-run lead kind of allows you to play your own game, but if you do make a mistake, you don’t have your backs against the wall.”
McAfee earned the win after pitching seven innings with three strikeouts, while allowing nine hits, three walks and four earned runs.
“She did what we expected her to do,” Pollard said. “She came off a really good game against Kirksville last night … so she built on that. Obviously, she walked more than we would like, but she missed barrels and allowed our defense behind her to play great.”
Mexico starting pitcher Jordyn Thurman was the losing pitcher after going six innings with two strikeouts, while allowing 10 hits, three walks and six earned runs.
Hannibal improves to 8-12, while Mexico is now 15-11 after Wednesday’s game.
Up next for Hannibal is a Monday home game against Palmyra at 5 p.m. It will be the pink night for breast cancer awareness game.
“We know that Palmyra is going to be a tough team and they always have been,” Pollard said. “Obviously, with the area battle that we have (with) how close we are, and it’s nice to have that competition.”