Lakers’ season ends with tough outing in sectionals

Haley Woolf, Blue Springs South’s senior catcher, sat down with her father Tuesday night and talked about Wednesday’s Class 4 sectional home game against Camdenton.

“We were talking about the game,” Woolf said, “and my dad said I needed to hit a home run at South. I had a couple of home runs, but they had both been on the road. So, I told him I’d do my best – and if I did, it was for him.”

Well, Woolf didn’t hit just one home run for dad, she nearly claimed an improbably home run cycle, hitting a solo shot, a three-run homer and grand slam – both of which came in a 14-run fifth inning – as the 22-9 Jaguars claimed a 21-5 mercy-rule victory over the visiting Camdenton Lakers.

“I was impressed with our two-touchdown fifth inning,” quipped South coach Kristi Williams, whose Jaguars have outscored their postseason opponents 42-6 with three mercy rule wins. “Honestly, I was sitting in the dugout and just watching the girls get those hits, and the girls on the bench having so much fun. It was a moment none of us will ever forget.”

Woolf will never forget the most productive game of her career as moments after it ended a parent handed her all three home run softballs.

“These are going to my room at home,” said Woolf, who finished the game with three homers, eight RBIs and four runs scored (she reached base early in the game on a fielder’s choice). “When I was talking to my dad, I never really thought about hitting a home run – let alone three home runs. It’s just all unbelievable.”

As her teammates, parents and fans gathered around her to get a photo with the trio of home run baseballs, Woolf just grinned like a kid who had just received her favorite Christmas gift.

“I’m just so proud of our girls and what we have accomplished this season,” Woolf added. “Last year, playing in the state championship game (a 4-3 loss to Troy Buchanan) was big, but this game was just unbelievable.

“We’re a game closer of getting the chance to go to state again this year and to see all our girls get so many hits and have so much fun is pretty amazing.”

For three innings, the game was a nail-biter as South led 2-0 on Kailee Odegard’s RBI single and Woolf’s first solo homer.

The Jaguars scored five runs in the fourth, but the Lakers came back and scored three in the bottom of the inning to make it a 7-3 game.

That set the stage for the 11-hit, 14-run fifth inning.

“That is a very good Camdenton team,” said Williams, who had done plenty of homework on the Lakers as she had her defense designed to take away any infield hits the Camdenton batters might try to lay down.

“We did a little homework; we knew a lot about them and had a lot of respect for them. When it was 7-3, it was still anyone’s game.”

Camdenton coach Rick Calbert was happy with his team despite the loss that ended his team’s season at 21-10.

“I was so proud of our girls, because we never gave up,” Calbert said after Camdenton’s Shelby Webster hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning to set the final score. “This has been a special season for our girls. We won back-to-back district championships and came down here and played a very good, well-coached Blue Springs South team.

“Sometimes, you just have to tip your hat to your opponent, and that’s what happened tonight. But I love my team and couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Camdenton racked up nine total hits in the loss as a trio of juniors in Webster, Haile Farris and Sydney Jones racked up two hits each while Webster and Farris added two RBIs and Jones added one of her own. Freshman Emma Rakes, senior Jillian Selander and junior Fayth Rakes put up the other hits for the Lakers.