Unbeaten Lincoln poses challenge for Purdy

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Purdy’s Kylie Wood slides safely into second base after smacking a double and RBI in Friday’s state quarterfinal win over Pierce City. Purdy plays Lincoln on Friday in the state semifinals. Kyle Troutman/editor@monett-times.com

Lady Eagles treating state semifinal like other games

Two possible games are all that remain on the Purdy softball team’s schedule.

The first, a semifinal battle with undefeated Lincoln on Friday with a berth to the spring championship game on the line.

Purdy pitcher Hallie Henderson, right, gets a pep talk from catcher Casey Ellison as the duo wraps up Friday’s 4-1 win over Pierce City. Kyle Troutman/editor@monett-times.com

“They have a good pitcher, speed on the bases and play solid defense,” said Lori Videmschek, Purdy coach. “Our goal is just to approach Friday like any other game and just go have fun.”

Purdy will face the 21-0 Lady Cardinals and ace pitcher Sloan Swearingin.

Swearingin struck out a season-high 14 in a 10-2 quarterfinal win over Kingsville on Saturday. She has 174 strikeouts in 90 innings this season and an ERA of .50.

Purdy’s Mikey Schad leaps for a ball thrown to first base during the Lady Eagles’ win over Pierce City on Friday. Kyle Troutman/editor@monett-times.com

The Lady Cardinals’ 21-0 record is thanks in large part to the team hitting .497 at the plate.

Lincoln has six hitters batting above .500, and two over .600 in Swearingin (.607) and Haley Mackey (.614). Aleah Paxton (.554), Paige Bybee (.516), Genesis Smith (.531) and Paige Kahler (.526) account for the others with gaudy stats.

“We beefed our schedule up this season because we wanted to be ready for a late season run,” Videmschek said. “We’ve faced Mt. Vernon, Strafford, Southwest, Wheaton, Clever, Pierce City, Liberal and Sweet Springs, who all have tough pitchers that can shut down lineups. We know it will be tough Friday, but we feel like we are prepared.”

The Lady Eagles are making sure to

approach this game just like any other. There will be no pep rally at school, no charter bus and nothing out of the ordinary to celebrate.

“It’s just another game,” Videmschek said. “My girls are at their best when they act a little squirrelly on the bus and sing karaoke during warmups. I want them to be relaxed and be themselves. Having fun will be the key for us.”

Entering the semifinal game, Purdy was hitting .432 as a team. Eight of the Lady Eagles’ hitters had a season average of .333 or higher, with three batters hitting at least .500. Henderson has been nearly un-hittable in the pitcher’s circle with a sub-1, .950 ERA.

Game time is set for 7 p.m at the Killian Sports Complex in Springfield.

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