Fulton softball loses state-ranked matchup at Blair Oaks

WARDSVILLE -- In a matchup between Class 3 state-ranked teams, the No. 2 Fulton Hornets fell 9-4 to the No. 10 Blair Oaks Falcons Monday at Blair Oaks High School. The game was initially scheduled for last Monday but was postponed due to rain.

Blair Oaks (10-6) remained in front after it took a 1-0 lead on Kally Bruce's RBI double to left field with one out in the bottom of the first. The Falcons tacked on two more runs in the first when Morgan Luebbering lined a two-bagger to third base.

Jayna Hedgpath hit her fifth home run of the season to make it a two-run game for Fulton (11-5-1) in the top of the second. But Blair Oaks answered in the bottom half with Bruce's second double, two runs scoring this time to make it 5-1 Falcons.

Each team plated a run in the third. The Hornets' Reagan Echelmeier scored when Brilee Ash reached on an error by the shortstop, and Blair Oaks brought its lead back to four thanks to Alyssa Reinkemeyer's RBI single.

Putting up a three-spot in the fourth inning, Blair Oaks increased its lead to 9-2 on Belle Bossen's RBI double and Addison Kusgen's two-RBI single.

With one out and the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Fulton reduced its deficit to six when Jayna Hedgpath scored on Rilee Swaim's bases-loaded walk. Falcons starter Ava Wilson escaped the bases-loaded jam by forcing a pop out to her and a groundout to the shortstop.

The Hedgpath twins each tallied a home run after Samantha Hedgpath smoked a leadoff shot over the wall in center field to plate the Hornets' final run in the top of the seventh.

Coming off an all-tournament performance in the Southside Classic last weekend, Natalie Underwood took the loss for Fulton. She went 3⅓ innings and allowed nine runs (six earned) on eight hits, recorded six strikeouts and allowed two walks.

Ash did well in relief for the Hornets. Throwing the final 2⅔ innings, she gave up no runs on a hit and struck out one.

Karlie Schoening joined the Hedgpath twins with two hits for Fulton.

The Hornets notched three extra-base hits: A home run each from the Hedgpath twins and a Schoening double.

Fulton (4-1 North Central Missouri Conference) hosts Marshall (2-10, 1-4 NCMC) at 5 p.m. Thursday at Fulton's softball field.