Republic’s softball seniors have already made their mark on the program. And Thursday night, they made their mark on an 8-7 Senior Night win over Carthage. Senior Gracie Woods drove in three runs and classmate Ali Poulson drove in the eventual game-winner with a sacrifice fly to help Republic fend off a persistent Carthage squad down the stretch.
After the game, Republic honored three seniors: Woods, Poulson, and Jenna Belcher, who has been out with an injury but was introduced as a starter during the pregame ceremony before leaving the field ahead of the first pitch.
“These three seniors have been in the program since they were little bitty girls,” said coach Lee Dishman. “That’s their contribution, in my opinion. They’ve been here forever, and they’ve grown up knowing the program. Most of them have been playing since they were 10 or 12 in the Repmo youth program.”
The three seniors have not only been a part of on-field success, but they’ve helped shape the program for future seasons in other ways, too.
“They’ve shown these younger girls, during tough times, how to act and how to handle themselves,” Dishman said. “In the dugout, in the locker room, and on the field, they’ve just been true leaders.”
Thursday night, Republic fell behind in the first inning, took a big lead, then held on as Carthage chipped away. With Carthage leading 2-0 in the bottom of the first, the Lady Tigers tied it. Piper Dishman singled with one out, and Addison Walker singled in Emma Hoodenpyle, who was the courtesy runner for Dishman. Walker scored on a double by Woods to even the score.
Republic put up five runs in the third inning. Paige Elsenraat doubled to lead off, and Walker singled her to third with one out. Woods reached on an error, allowing both runners to score. After Woods stole second, Annabelle Gerhardt-Hobbs lined a ball that appeared to hit the left field foul pole for a home run, but umpires ruled it a ground-rule double. Woods scored on that play to put Republic ahead 5-2, and Lilli Richerson walloped a home run to left field, making the score 7-2.
But Carthage wouldn’t go away, scoring two runs in the fourth inning and three in the fifth. With one out in the fifth inning and Carthage threatening more damage, Kara Goeke came on to relieve starter Dishman. Although Carthage tied the score 7-7, Goeke slammed the door on Carthage the rest of the way.
In the bottom of the fifth, Poulson made her contribution. Richerson singled, and Ashland Schaumann ran for her. After Schaumann stole second and went to third on a groundout, Poulson flied deep to center, allowing Schaumann to tag up and score. It turned out to be the winning run.
Walker and Richerson each had two base hits. Walker scored twice and drove in a run.
The win improves Republic’s record to 12-11. The Lady Tigers will play in the Springfield Invitational this weekend, starting with an 11:00 am game against Marion C. Early Friday.