The Blue Springs High School softball team followed a familiar script en route to a 1-0 Suburban Big Six victory over visiting Liberty Wednesday afternoon.

Ashtin Stephens lead off with a bunt single, stole second and advanced to third and home on consecutive wild pitches.

Pitcher Kelsey Kessler threw a 3-hit shutout and the Wildcats made a dazzling defensive play in the top of the seventh to preserve the win as they improved to 16-0 overall and 5-0 in league play.

However, coach Roger Lower was not a happy man after the game as he pointed out countless missed scoring opportunities.

Following the win, the Wildcats ran a series of laps in the practice field just south of the softball complex.

He wanted to get a message across.

“I’ve been on Kelsey all season about focus, today, she was the most focused player on the team – some her teammates weren’t focused and that could cost us a game down the road,” Lower said.

“When Kelsey needed the big out pitch, she got it. We made a great defensive play in the seventh to possible keep the score from being tied, but twice we got our leadoff hitter on base and couldn’t do anything and we have two runners on base in the fifth and get back-to-back strikeouts. We can’t do things like that and go as far as we want to go as a team this season.”

Kessler allowed a leadoff single in the top of the sixth and the base runner advanced to second on an infield out, but was stranded when Blue Jay batters popped out and struck out to end the inning.

“Kelsey was really focused that inning - and look at the end result,” Lower said. “She pitched out of a tough jam.”

Liberty pitcher Chelsea Gilliard led off the top of the seventh with a double. Taylor Burnholz then hit a slow roller to third baseman Nikki White, who fired the ball to shortstop Stephens at third base.

Stephens then tagged out the base runner.

“That play was designed before it even happened,” the head’s up White said. “When there’s a runner on second, Ashtin and I always talk about a play at third base.

“I don’t know if the runner got a bad lead or what, but we knew we had the chance to get her out - and we did.”

Stephens said it was a game changer.

“Nikki made a great play,” Stephens said. “That’s the type of play that can change an entire game. Without the out, they have runners on first and third with no outs in a 1-0 game.”

No one appreciated the play more than Kessler, who improved to 14-0 on the season.

“That was a huge play,” Kessler said. “But that’s the way the defense has been playing behind me all season. I have so much faith and confidence in the girls, they really came through big for me today.”