The Lady Lakers defended their home diamond with a big fourth inning in a 3-2 win.


Key contributions at the plate from two seniors proved just enough for Camdenton to pull out a softball win over Hillcrest on Wednesday afternoon. The Lady Lakers defended their home diamond with a big fourth inning in a 3-2 win.

Camdenton trailed Hillcrest 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. A pair of walks issued to Nikki Jeffries and Stevie Downen and a botched fielder's choice on a ball hit to shortstop by Jessica Schultz loaded the bases for senior outfielder Bailee Slack. Slack drove an RBI single to left field that drove in a pair of runs,

"Bailee has struggled with the bat lately, so I was happy for her that she was able to come through and get that hit," Camdenton coach Kim Vest said.

The next batter, senior Taylor Dixon, grounded into a fielder's choice to the second baseman that brought Schultz home to give Camdenton a 3-1 lead.

"Taylor has really been playing well. She's come in and become our D.P. (designated player). She's not a power hitter by any means, but she has been coming through with some good hits," Vest said.

Hillcrest tried to rally in the top of the sixth inning. Hornets pitcher Katie Johnson uncorked a double that hit the fence in center field on the fly. Had the ball left the park, Hillcrest could have brought the winning run aboard. Instead, Jeffries, the Lakers' catcher, gunned down a baserunner trying to steal second to get Camdenton out of the inning with a 3-2 lead.

Vest left the dugout happy to see her team win, but disappointed with some of the at bats after Camdenton struggled with Johnson's offspeed stuff.

"I think we never adjusted to their slower pitcher, which has been our theme all year long. I think that that definitely hurt us," Vest said.

Vest thought the Lady Lakers may have been guilty of looking ahead to a showdown with Joplin at home on Thursday and a trip to Rolla on Friday night.