Bears White-washed by Patriots

By Bill Althaus
Truman pitcher Myel White, center, is greeted at home plate by teammates after slugging a two-run homer in the fifth inning of Thursday's game at Chrisman. White's blast keyed a four-run outburst as the Patriots went on to an 8-0 conference win over the crosstown rival.

Myel White was playing mind games with herself before taking the mound at William Chrisman for a conference matchup against the Patriots’ crosstown rivals.

“I don’t prefer pitching on turf and I knew I had to get out of that first inning,” White said after loading the bases with two outs and getting Isabel Dufvba to ground out to third base to end the threat.

“That was huge for me and our team. I kept thinking about pitching on turf and it got into my head. I had to get through the first inning and I knew I’d be OK.”

She was more than OK.

“Myel was great!” Truman coach Dan Harper said after the senior star pitched a three-hit shutout, striking out 12 Bears in an 8-0 victory. She also hit a two-run homer to straight away center field to spark a four-run Truman fifth inning.

Truman senior pitcher Myel White throws to a William Chrisman batter in Thursday's game at Chrisman. White allowed just three hits and struck out 12 while lowering her ERA from 0.30 with the shutout.

“Myel went into today’s game with a 0.30 ERA – that’s getting into (former Truman standout and three time Missouri Gatorade Softball Player of the Year) Paige Parker territory.

“And she’s lost some tough games – like 2-1 to Pleasant Hill (Tuesday) night. But she is such a great competitor and such a great hitter and pitcher. I can’t say enough good things about her.”

White has a way of getting stronger as the game goes on, and she proved that again against the Bears by striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“I was definitely pitching better in the seventh than I was in the first,” White said. “But I had confidence after that first inning. And our girls supported me at the plate and in the field.”

Truman leadoff hitter Kennedy Rucker lays down a bunt in Thursday's game at William Chrisman. Rucker and the Patriots claimed an 8-0 win.

The win gives the Patriots a 9-5 overall record and 1-0 conference mark while coach Lindsey Ramsey’s Bears fall to 3-9 and 1-1.

“We’ve been swinging some hot bats, and when we got the bases loaded against Myel we were all excited,” Ramsey said. “But we know Myel is a great pitcher and found a way to pitch out of that bases-loaded situation.”

Bears starter Gracie Ussery allowed just six hits, but the Patriots were able to bunch those hits to score the eight runs.

William Chrisman pitcher Gracie Ussery grimaces in pain after taking a line drive off the ankle in Thursday's home game against rival Truman. Ussery stayed in the game and allowed just six hits but Truman claimed an 8-0 win.

CeCe Mora had a double, Katie Sutton hit an RBI triple and single and White delivered the big two-run homer.

“It’s always fun to play your big rival and to play like we did tonight,” said White, who has verbally committed to Missouri Western State University, where she will be reunited with former Patriots catcher and Examiner Player of the Year Chloe Armstrong.

“We pretty much play all conference games the rest of the season and I think we’re really going to have a great second half of the season. We’re all just so thankful that we’re playing and we’re playing every game like it’s our last, because it might be.”

William Chrisman infielder Aariana Paprocki throws to first for an out after making a nice stop on a Truman grounder in Chrisman's 8-0 home loss Thursday,