Eureka High School softball players had more challenges than the stinging cold wind and brisk weather Friday at Killian Softball Complex in Springfield, MO, for the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 4 State Tournament. They squared off against Truman High School players for the first semifinal game, and had difficulty with strikes out, leaving them not even on the score board until the seventh inning.
Truman's pitcher, Paige Parker, has had quite a hot season this year; the senior struck out 14 Eureka batters and allowed just two hits during the game. Truman (30-3) zapped Eureka with two big waves, scoring three first-inning runs and five fifth-inning runs.
Editor's Note: For play-by-play details, click through using the Box Score links provided in the following chart.
The Wildcats fell to Truman, 8-1, and then played Francis Howell later Friday evening.
One of the most pleasant elements of the second game was the roaring cheerleading provided by Eureka's Boys Swim teammates, who also were in Springfield competing for state meets. They were an excellent morale booster, and provided a variety of creative chants.
A controversial development during a critical time during the second inning at the Francis Howell game left the Wildcats not being allowed to count a run. With bases loaded, a Eureka runner surprisingly was called for interference with Truman's shortstop, and the home plate umpire did not count the other Eureka runner who scored—instead sending her back to third base. Activity that followed after that development left three Eureka runners stranded on bases.
Another chance to affect the outcome of the game came when Eureka's Sam Witte hit a triple during the bottom of the sixth inning, but was called out at third base.
For most of the game and through the sixth inning, the score was 2-1 Francis Howell. Francis Howell upped the ante during the top of the seventh inning by adding two more runs. Eureka's final rally included several hits, which loaded the bases, but a couple of runners were thrown out. Eureka answered with another run during the bottom of the seventh, but that obviously wasn't enough to tie or overcome the opponents.
Francis Howell took third place at state, and Eureka took fourth.
Truman went on to sweep Ozark, dominating the tournament and achieving first place this year.2 p.m. Field #3 Semifinal #1 Truman def. Eureka, 8-1 Box Score 2 p.m. Field #4 Semifinal #2 Ozark def. Francis Howell, 6-2 Box Score 7 p.m. Stadium Third-Place Francis Howell def. Eureka, 4-2 Box Score 4 p.m. (Sat.) Stadium Championship Truman def. Ozark, 7-0 Box Score