Softball Wildcats place fourth at New Haven

By: 
Theo Tate

Montgomery County junior Brooklynn Fischer delivers a pitch in the third-place game against Belle in the New Haven Softball Classic on Aug. 29. Fischer and the Wildcats finished fourth with a 1-2 record in the eight-team tournament. THEO TATE PHOTO.

The Montgomery County softball team left Lions Field at New Haven on Aug. 29 with mixed emotions.

The Wildcats were thrilled that they got to play in the New Haven Softball Classic this year after last year’s tournament was cancelled due to rain.

But MCHS wasn’t happy that it didn’t celebrate a championship in the tournament. The Wildcats finished fourth with a 1-2 record in the eight-team event after losing 4-1 to the Belle Tigers in the third-place game.

“It was good to get back on the field,” MCHS coach Audra Heimer said. “It didn’t quite go as we would have hoped, obviously.” 

MCHS began tournament play with a 5-1 win over the St. James Tigers in a first-round game, which was also its season opener. The Wildcats fell 15-0 to eventual tournament champion Russellville in the semifinals before losing to Belle in the third-place game.

“There were some very good things that happened to us today,” MCHS junior catcher Sam Queathem said. “We had some nice plays, but we couldn’t pull it all together for the last two games.”

The Wildcats, who finished 12-8 in 2019, were scheduled to play a home game against Hermann on Sept. 1. They will play a road game against Silex at 5 p.m. on Sept. 3.

MCHS will compete in two more tournaments this season. The Wildcats will participate in the Elsberry Invitational on Sept. 12 and the LaPlata Tournament on Oct. 3.

Heimer said her team always looks forward to playing in weekend tournaments. A year ago, the Wildcats finished second in both Elsberry and LaPlata tournaments.

“It’s nice to know that we have some endurance, we can win more than one game in a day, we can play some better competition and we can find ways to be successful and win,” Heimer said.

MCHS has seven freshmen on its team. All of them got to play their first high school softball games at the New Haven tournament. 

“They’re trying to get into the groove of things,” Heimer said. “We’re trying to figure out how well they work as a team, but we’ll get there.”

Heimer said she was happy that her team started its 2020 season with a first-round win over St. James.

“We played really well in the first game,” the MCHS coach said. “We kind of had our ups and downs, but we figured it out and we won.”

The third-place game against Belle ended after five innings due to a time limit. The Wildcats trailed 3-0 before scoring their only run with two outs in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by freshman Maddy Queathem. Her hit drove home Sam Queathem — Maddy’s sister — from second.

Elsberry, New Haven, Hermann and St. Clair were the other teams in the New Haven tournament. Russellville beat Elsberry 10-0 in the championship game and outscored its opponents 42-1 in the tournament. New Haven, which won a Class 2 district title last year, knocked off St. Clair 7-0 in the consolation title game. 

“The competition is good,” Heimer said. “It’s very comparable to us, so that’s kind of nice that we get to face some teams that are very equal to us.” 

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