Blue Springs softball comes from behind to defeat Ray-Pec and continue its win streak

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

When visiting Raymore-Peculiar touched Blue Springs starter Brooklyn Saysoff for three runs in the first three innings of Thursday's Suburban Big Eight softball contest, she felt no imminent threat. 

"With the way our girls have been hitting," Saysoff said, "I knew we were going to score some runs. I just hoped we would score more than three." 

She was correct, as catcher Ashton Arndt drilled a three-run homer and second baseman Cejai Holland added a solo shot as the Wildcats claimed a 5-3 come-from-behind win to improve to 8-2 overall – with their eighth win in a row – and 2-0 in the conference. 

Blue Springs catcher Ashton Arndt, center, is greeted at home plate by her teammates after hitting a three-run homer in the fourth inning of Thursday's home game against Raymore-Peculiar. The Wildcats rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 5-3, their eighth straight victory.

"I can pitch with so much confidence because we're hitting the ball really well and playing great defense," Saysoff added. "It's kind of funny because we lost our first two games of the season, and that seems like such a long time ago. Now, we're playing great softball and it's so much fun." 

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The Panthers (6-3, 1-2) scored a solo run in the first and added two in the third before Saysoff settled down and retired the last 12 batters while allowing a single and a walk. She finished with eight strikeouts.

But her biggest pitch of the game came with runners on first and second in the top of the seventh inning. 

Blue Springs' Ashton Arndt, from left, Brooklyn Saysoff and Cejai Holland have plenty of reasons to smile after a 5-3 Suburban Big Eight victory over Raymore-Peculiar. Arndt hit a three-run homer, Holland added a solo shot and Saysoff pitched four shutout innings after allowing three in the first three innings to help the Wildcats improve to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

Ray-Pec leadoff hitter Hayden Kurtz, who entered the game with six homers, had two singles, an RBI and two runs scored against the Wildcats. She hit a ground ball to shortstop Kadence Shepherd, who threw to Izzy Milligan at third to quell the threat. 

"That was a huge pitch," said Anna Cole, the Wildcats head coach who was a member of the Blue Springs 31-0 state championship team in 2008. "But that's what our girls have been doing all season. I love this team because they are having so much fun and we're really hitting the ball well." 

More:Here are the Eastern Jackson County high school softball players to watch in 2021

That might be the understatement of this young season as the Wildcats are the talk of metro area softball as they already have six games in which they have scored 10 or more runs. 

"We're not going to the plate trying to hit home runs – really, we aren't," Arndt said, "but we're trying to hit the ball hard. Tonight, with two runners on, I just wanted to hit the ball hard, maybe hit it on the ground somewhere and get a run home. I was totally surprised when it went over the fence." 

Holland nearly mirrored the words of her teammate. 

"Do I look like a home run hitter," the diminutive second baseman said with a grin. "We all try to hit the ball hard, and sometimes, like tonight, it goes over the fence." 

Milligan began the four-run fourth with a single and scored on Kadence Shepherd's double. Saysoff reached on an error and Arndt followed with a bomb that cleared the center field fence and went into the school parking lot. 

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Holland then hit her solo home run deep over the left field fence in the bottom of the fifth. 

"We're winning, we're having fun and we're relaxed because we're playing so well," Cole said. "I don't know if anyone expected us to be playing this well this season, but we thought we had the chance to be a very good team.”