Michaela Tolliver had the unenviable task of pitching against a couple of Missouri Gatorade Players of the Year this week, and the Blue Springs South junior came away with two impressive victories.

Michaela Tolliver had the unenviable task of pitching against a couple of Missouri Gatorade Players of the Year this week, and the Blue Springs South junior came away with two impressive victories.

Monday at Blue Springs, the visiting Jaguars hammered 15 hits en route to a 9-1 victory over 2008 Player of the Year Kelsey Kessler, and they followed that victory by routing Truman and sophomore sensation Paige Parker, the 2010 Player of the Year, by the head-turning score of 12-2.

“I think I tend to focus more when I’m pitching against a conference opponent or a really good pitcher like Paige,” Tolliver said after the Jaguars collected 17 hits off Parker and reliever Kelsi Broyles.

“Once again, we scored some runs early and that helped me relax out on the mound. This was a great win, especially since they beat us last weekend in our tournament.”
Much like the Tolliver-Kessler matchup, this was expected to be a pitchers’ battle.

“Wrong,” said Truman coach Amy Temples, who held a lengthy postgame session with the 16-6 Patriots. “This was the farthest end of spectrum of anything I anticipated or expected. I don’t even know what happened. When you make twice as many errors (eight) as you get hits (four), you know it’s not going to be a good day. And I’m not even talking about all the mental errors we made.

“We’re in a funk. We have a two-hour time slot tomorrow for practice and I know the girls will come to practice and work hard, because it’s too late in the season to be playing like this.”

Truman actually held a short-lived 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning before the Jaguars came back to knot the score at on the first of four base hits by right fielder Shannon Hughes.

“Paige was pitching well today,” said Hughes, who also had a big game, including her first home run, in the victory over Blue Springs earlier this week.

“When we lost to Truman in our tournament, we were all thinking about this game. We really wanted to come back and win.”

The Jaguars iced the game with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Toliver, Brooke Parker – who reached base five times – Kaitlin Schaberg, Hughes and Kelly Voigt all got base hits in the explosive inning.

“We’ve played well this week – except for that (8-0) loss at Lee’s Summit,” South coach Vickie Brummel said after the Jaguars improved to 16-4.

“I don’t even know what team showed up over at Lee’s Summit, but it wasn’t the team that went to Blue Springs or played here today. The girls have been doing a great job adjusting to any type of pitching they have faced – and they have faced two of the best this week in Kelsey and Paige.”

Lauren Chirnside’s bases-loaded double in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Jaguars a 10-run lead and ended it early on the mercy rule.

“This was one of those games where you couldn’t wait to come up to hit because everyone was hitting so well,” said South’s Brooke Parker, who reached on an error and fielder’s choice and had three singles and scored four runs.

“You know what they say about softball – it’s 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical and we were so confident today, we just went up to the plate knowing we would get a hit.”

Tolliver helped her own cause with three hits and three runs scored.

“Everything went well today,” Tolliver said. “The girls were amazing offensively and defensively and we really had a lot of fun.”