Chrisman softball looked to end long drought against Truman. Erynn Boatright made sure it didn't happen

Michael Smith
The Examiner

It’s been a long time since the William Chrisman softball team defeated its crosstown rival Truman. 

It was in 2014 when the Bears swept a two-game season series against the Patriots. Since 2015, the Patriots were 8-0 against Chrisman and had an average margin of victory of 11 runs per game, which included six shutouts. 

In Thursday’s Suburban Middle Six Conference contest at Adair Park, it appeared the Bears may end that drought. 

Chrisman took a 5-4 lead after putting up a four-run top of the fifth inning. The Bears had all the momentum. However, in the bottom of the fifth, four errors, two wild pitches and timely hitting from Truman derailed their hopes. 

Truman scored 10 runs in the frame and coasted to a 14-5 rout. 

Shortstop Erynn Boatright led the offensive output for the Patriots (8-5, 1-0), going 3-for-4 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored as she showed why she’s hitting in the leadoff spot. 

Truman shortstop Erynn Boatright crosses home plate before the throw reaches William Chrisman catcher Alex Hawley in Thursday's game at Adair Park. Boatright went 3-for-4 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs to lead the Patriots to a 14-5 win over the rival Bears.

“She means a lot. She’s a top-level player,” Truman coach Dan Harper said. “She knows how to play. She brings a lot to the table defensively and offensively. She can spray the ball everywhere and she’s got some power.”

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She definitely does. In the bottom of the second, she hammered a pitch from Chrisman’s Skylar Dufva over the fence to the deepest part of center field for a 4-0 lead. 

“That was awesome. I really needed that. That was encouraging for the team, I think,” Boatright said of her home run. “It was an outside pitch and that made me really happy that I was able to hit the ball where it needed to go. 

“I started off hot at the beginning of the season and have been in a slump lately. Tonight was a booster.”

Truman's Katie Sutton rounds third to score the 13th run in Thursday's game against rival William Chrisman at Adair Park. Chrisman took a 5-4 lead in the fifth but Truman scored 10 unanswered runs to take a 14-5 victory.

So, what makes Boatright a good hitter? 

“She’s really good at finding the right pitches,” Truman pitcher Mattie Sharp said. “She’s really good with her pitch selection, which is really important.” 

In the top of the first inning, Boatright walked, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly from third baseman Katie Sutton. Second baseman Cece Mora followed with a double to deep left and she scored on an error for a 2-0 advantage. 

After Boatright’s home run gave the Bears a 4-0 lead, Chrisman scored five unanswered runs. Second baseman Alexis Basinski scored on a fielder’s choice and error following a grounder by Kiara Boldridge. 

More:Truman faces rival William Chrisman in softball

The Bears went into the fifth down 4-1 until a pair of fielder’s choice grounders from Abby Ferguson and Dufva made it 4-3. Shortstop Aariana Paprocki smacked a two-run single up the middle for a one-run lead as the Bears sent nine batters to the plate. 

“We have some good bats on this team,” Chrisman coach Lindsey Ramsey said. “We have some good base runners, and I always know we are in a game.”

William Chrisman's Aliyah Martinez, left, is greeted by teammate Kiara Boldridge as she heads back to the dugout after scoring in Thursday's game against rival Truman at Adair Park. Chrisman took a 5-4 lead in the fifth but Truman scored 10 unanswered runs to take a 14-5 victory.

After that, Harper had a question for his team. 

“I just told them, ‘Are you going to let them do that to you?’” Harper recalled saying to his team. “‘That’s your rival. Are you really going to go down like that?’” 

They didn’t. 

Truman sent 17 batters to the plate in the bottom half. The big inning featured eight hits and was aided by Chrisman miscues. Boatright and left fielder Savannah Schnell each hit two-run singles to key the big rally. 

“We didn’t have that much energy starting the game,” said Sharp, who added two hits, “so once we saw (the Chrisman comeback) happening, we picked up our energy.”

Truman pitcher Mattie Sharp throws to a William Chrisman batter in Thursday's game at Adair Park. Sharp started the game, came out and then finished it as the Patriots rallied from a 5-4 deficit to claim a 14-5 win.

After Truman put it out of reach, Sharp finished a game she was taken out of. She pitched the first three innings before being replaced by Schnell. She came back in the fifth and pitched another 2 ⅔ innings. 

She was the winning pitcher and finished with 5 ⅔ innings pitched and gave up just one run on seven hits and struck out three. 

“I thought she killed it,” Boatright said of Sharp. “It was her first rivalry game as a freshman and there’s not much you can ask for other than that.” 

Sharp was unfazed by having to come back in after being taken out. 

“I came in with the bases loaded, so that makes it a little tougher,” Sharp said. “But if there is one runner on base, it’s pretty easy. It’s not a lot different.” 

Sutton finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Mora was 2-for-5 with three runs and an RBI for Truman. Paprocki led the Bears with two hits.