Warrenton softball goes 1-2 in season-opening tourney

By: 
Scott Butler
Correspondent

The Warrenton softball team kicked off its season at the 13th Annual Leadoff Classic, hosted by Troy Buchanan High School.

This was the second year the Lady Warriors have played in the 16-team, round-robin tournament since Head Coach Chad Berrey took over three years ago. 

“The Troy Tournament is a great way to kick off the year,” Berrey said. “It is well organized, has very good competition and it exposes your strengths and weaknesses.”

Warrenton was placed in Pool B, which featured the likes of Timberland, Holt and Highland. The Lady Warriors battled in their first game, claiming their only victory of the tournament with a 3-2 extra-inning triumph over Holt.

Junior pitcher Kathryn McChristy set a personal best by striking out 16 batters as she pitched all eight innings, giving up one earned run. Meanwhile, freshman batterymate Kaylin Reynolds went 2 for 3 and scored a run in her varsity debut. The Lady Warriors needed a walk-off hit from senior Hailey Roberts to score senior Michele Higby to capture the win.

“Game 1 was a dog fight from the first pitch to the last,” Berrey said. “Both teams were executing plays and playing good old fashion small ball to push across runs.”

Fresh off an exciting win in the season opener, the Lady Warriors had to turn right around and gear up for Highland. However, the offense was flat and couldnt muster much as they fell 8-1 in Game 2. 

Junior Kaylin Haas led the way, both on the mound and offensively. She pitched four innings in relief, only giving up one earned run while also scoring the lone run off the bat from fellow junior Kiersten Anderson. Higby also collected two hits. 

“Offense went cold and couldn't string together enough hits to push across any runs until the seventh inning,” Berrey said. “We made the adjustment, but it was just too late to muster up a comeback.”

The third and final game of their tripleheader Saturday slated them against a very good Timberland team. Warrenton jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first frame, and held that lead until Timberland came up to bat in their half of the third inning. The Lady Warriors could not score another run and fell 7-3.

Senior Kennady Estes, along with Haas, Reynolds, and Roberts all collected two hits. Estes had two doubles while Roberts drove in two runs.

“The score doesn't reflect it, but in this game, we struck the ball harder than any game I have coached at Warrenton,” Berrey said. “I was very happy with our approaches at the plate, but we just couldn't find a hole in Timberlands defense.”

Starting the season 1-2 isn’t the way their coach, or anyone in the program, would like to start. But there were some good signs to come from this. 

“As we are not happy with the wins and loss columns, we are happy with the skills and grit our girls displayed,” Berrey said. “We are more excited than ever to kick off our regular season.”

The Lady Warriors started a string of three straight conference games on Tuesday with their home opener against St. Charles West. They play at Orchard Farm on Thursday and host St. Charles on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 4:15 p.m.

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