Against the toughest opponent New Bloomfield softball will face during the regular season, Fatima's fireballer in the circle and power-hitting was too much for the Lady Wildcats.
New Bloomfield lost 12-0 against the Comets Tuesday in New Bloomfield.
While the Lady Wildcats lost by 12 runs, the game was scoreless through three innings thanks to New Bloomfield's superb fielding and pitching, and Fatima pitcher Taylor Baumhoer.
Starting with the Lady Wildcats' fielding, shortstop Macie Abbott was involved in five Fatima outs, including four before the fourth inning.
In the second inning, Abbott used her quick reflexes to catch a liner hit to her off the bat of Fatima's Allison Schwartze. She wasn't done yet, Abbott made the throw to first on Caleigh Huot's ground ball for the final out.
Outside of Abbott and the rest of New Bloomfield's fielders, starter Peityn Thomas had a good outing through the first three innings.
In the first inning, Thomas struck out two batters after allowing a leadoff single --the final out was a groundout to second base. The leadoff single was the only hit Thomas allowed in the first three innings.
"Peityn -- being a pitcher like her -- working her butt off for us on the mound," New Bloomfield softball coach Zach Moore said. "We weren't playing behind her. In the first four innings, everything was going our way and we loved everything we had. Great defense, great effort by Macie, great effort by everybody. We had a few mishaps, but we bounce back from it. We didn't back down from them early on."
Overall, Thomas pitched five innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out five; she was credited with the loss.
Baumhoer -- Fatima's winning pitcher -- threw a gem and made it tough for New Bloomfield hitters to string any hits together while she was in the circle. In four innings of work, Baumhoer allowed no runs on two hits and one walk while striking out 10.
"That's a good pitcher," Moore said. "That's a really good team -- good pitcher. They have two really good pitchers. And I got to do a better job as a coach preparing us at the plate, so that one's on me. You know this game was on me in just not being prepared enough for what we're gonna see."
While Baumhauer was pitching, the Comets only made two outs on balls in play -- both of which stayed in the infield. The other 10 outs were strikeouts; Baumhauer struck out the side in the first and third inning.
After the third inning, Fatima got its bats to match Baumhauer's outing by scoring three runs in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Following a leadoff walk to start the fourth -- Thomas' only free pass she allowed -- the Comets' No. 3-hitter Faith Jaegers smoked a two-run homer to straightaway center.
Fatima wasn't done yet. With two outs and a runner on second, the Comets' Ellie Brune scored on second baseman Avery Nichols' fielding error.
The Comets were consistently getting runners on base against Thomas in the fourth; that would continue in the fifth.
Just like it did the previous inning, Fatima scored its first two runs on a long ball. This time, the Comets' Kinzey Woody crushed a two-run no-doubter over the wall in left-center.
The second of back-to-back singles scored another two runs for the Comets in the fifth.
"We let one thing snowball, that was our big thing," Moore said. "Two-run home run, one-run home runs will beat us. We let it kind of get in our head. A lot of that, like I said is me as a coach not preparing us for certain situations -- not understanding how to come back from that. This game doesn't define us as a team. That's a really good team, but they're not 12 runs better than us."
During the sixth and seventh, Fatima tacked on another five runs -- two in the sixth and three in the seventh -- with Lady Wildcats relief pitcher Averie Edwards in the game.
New Bloomfield (9-5, 1-2 Show-Me Conference) will play conference opponent Eugene (6-6, 1-1) at 5 p.m. Thursday in Eugene, Missouri.
"It's a good team," Moore said. "And that's a game we really want to win. So we're excited for it. Not sure what we're gonna do pitching-wise, but Peityn did really well today and her pitch count was pretty low. And Averie Edwards always comes in to compete. So, we're excited for it. We'll be very well prepared for it. We're going to go out and give them all we got."