Hannibal falls to Warrenton in district tournament

The 2021 Hannibal softball team. Front row left to right: Rylee Culp, Emilee Wilson, Kylie McAfee and Ryleigh Butler. Middle row: Alana Pfeifer, Stormy Rickey, Cadence Brown, Sydney Phillips, Kennedi Gibbons, Baylee Butler, Harper Karr, Chloe Simms, Gracey Whittaker, Bailey Brinkley, Kameil Crane, McKenna Hull, Sidney Zimmerman, Malika Sturm and Katie Reddick. Back row: Brookelyn Livesay, Mercedes Zumwalt, Lilly Baker, Nevaeh Boling, Hayleigh Smashey, Jackie Sims, Teagen Novel, Jay LaJoy, Alyssa Hart, Brandi Powell, Piper Harvey, Danica Vohs, Ava Garnett and Kira Riley.

WARRENTON, Mo. — It was the end of the road for Hannibal as the Lady Pirates fell to Warrenton 10-0 in Wednesday’s Class 4 District 4 second-round softball game.

Hannibal batters had no answer for Warrenton pitcher Kylie Witthaus, who limited the Lady Pirates to just two hits in a five-inning shutout with 11 strikeouts.

Lady Pirates center fielder Alana Pfeifer broke up Witthaus’ no-hitter in the fourth inning and went 1-for-2. Emilee Wilson had Hannibal’s other hit and was also 1-for-2.

“(Warrenton) had a good pitcher and we weren’t able to get our offense going quick enough,” said Hannibal head coach Andrew Pollard. “We weren’t able to produce like we did last night.”

Warrenton senior Kathryn McChristy had a big game, getting three hits and three RBIs for the Lady Warriors.

Kylie McAfee pitched for Hannibal and had two strikeouts in four innings, and was hurt by four Lady Pirate errors in Hannibal’s loss.

“It was just a different game,” Pollard said. “We were playing a better team and a well-coached team like Warrenton. We had some errors behind Kylie and that kind of allowed them to run away with it. We didn’t play our game like last night and that’s all it boils down to.”

It was the final game for four seniors — McAfee, Wilson, second baseman Ryleigh Butler and Rylee Culp.

Pollard had coached Butler, McAfee and Wilson since they were in seventh-grade.

“They were leaders,” Pollard said. “I know there were times they were upset. Yesterday, they were able to step up and our underclassmen were able to follow them and that’s what got us the win. It sucks seeing such good leaders and good talent walk away.”

Pollard added that McAfee pitching a shutout against St. Charles, Wilson going 4-for-6 in district play and Butler getting an RBI in Tuesday’s game were memories the senior class can remember.

“It wasn’t the year that we thought (we would have) or wanted, but hopefully they can find some bright spots in it,” Pollard said. “They can walk away with their heads high. They left the team better than when they got there and they left it all on the field.”

Simms was named as Hannibal’s sole North Central Missouri Conference All-Conference selection prior to Wednesday’s game.

Pollard said he stressed consistency to Simms prior to the season.

“When she gets on base, we go and we saw that last night,” Pollard said. “She was 17-for-18 in stolen base attempts. Putting pressure on the defense.”

Pollard feels that Simms and Pfeifer will play a big part in next year’s team at the top of the order.

“I think she was a huge part of the team,” Pfeifer said. “Not just numbers-wise, but defensively stopping balls. Alana Pfiefer should had been an All-Conference player after missing a full year of softball and coming back out. Once she got her bearings, she ran away with it.”

Hannibal finishes the 2021 season with a 5-20 record.

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