Love fans 14, Lady Wildcats roll past New Haven

— Sophomore starter Madison Love scattered four hits and struck out 14 as the New Bloomfield Lady Wildcats rolled past the New Haven Lady Shamrocks on Tuesday night.

Love, who went the distance to even her season record at 1-1, gave up three runs — two earned — and walked two.

“Madison made the adjustments when she needed to throw strikes, and her defense was making good plays behind her,” New Bloomfield head coach Dara Reinkemeyer said.

Senior right fielder Taylor Howard went 1-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and three stolen bases to help direct the Lady Wildcats’ 11-hit attack. Trailing 2-0, New Bloomfield (2-1) broke out for three runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead for good.

The Lady Wildcats added two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and three in the seventh to secure the win.

Senior left fielder Keaira Ruppel was also 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base for New Bloomfield, while freshman shortstop Madi Craighead went 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Senior center fielder Mykaela Bonnett finished 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases.

The Lady Wildcats started their season by going 1-1 last Saturday at the Hallsville Tournament. New Bloomfield opened with a 5-3 loss to Salisbury, then hammered Harrisburg 16-1 in five innings. The Lady Wildcats were scheduled to play for consolation, but the game was cancelled due to the heat.

New Bloomfield pushed across six runs in the first inning against Harrisburg, added two apiece in the second and third, then piled on six more in the fourth.

Craighead was 4-for-4 with two runs batted in and sophomore pitcher Kate Baxter went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to spark New Bloomfield’s offensive rampage. Howard finished 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, while senior second baseman Kennedy Pieter was 1-for-4 with three RBIs.

Baxter scattered four hits over four innings, striking out three and walking two to earn the complete-game win.

Salisbury took a 2-0 lead over the Lady Wildcats in the bottom of the first, but Bonnett cut the Lady Wildcats’ deficit in half with a one-out, solo home run to center in the top of the fourth. The Lady Panthers, though, tacked on another run in the bottom of the inning to extend their lead to 3-1.

After Salisbury put up two more runs in the fifth, Bonnett singled home Craighead with one out in the sixth to bring New Bloomfield within 5-2. Craighead accounted for the Lady Wildcats’ final run with an RBI single in the seventh to score senior first baseman Paige Ragar.

Bonnett paced the Lady Wildcats with a 2-for-2 showing, while Craighead finished 2-for-4. Ragar and Ruppel were both 1-for-3.

Love struck out six, but allowed four earned runs on five hits and a hit batter in suffering the complete-game loss.

“It’s great seeing our bats come alive early this year,” Reinkemeyer said of her team, which is coming off an appearance in the Class 2 quarterfinals last year. “Our defense is looking solid. It’s nice to see all the individual players’ strengths coming together to make a strong and competitive team.”

New Bloomfield plays its home and Show-Me Conference opener against Tuscumbia at 5 p.m. Thursday.

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