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DISTRICT SOCCER ROUNDUP: Webb City prevails in PK shootout; Carl Junction, McAuley earn wins 


Fourth-seeded Webb City won a penalty kick shootout 3-0 to knock off fifth-seeded Parkview on Monday night in a quarterfinal contest of the Class 3 District 6 girls soccer tournament at Cardinal Stadium.

Converting PKs for Webb City were Anea Bemo, Piper Chapman and Austyn Mickey. 

Webb City goalkeeper Delaney Duke earned the clean sheet.

In other action at Cardinal Stadium, top-seeded Branson defeated eighth-seeded McDonald County 8-0.

Kaylor Alms recorded a hat trick for the Pirates, while Hadley Houston and Chloe Grimm added two goals apiece. Abigail Jones added one goal for Branson.

In matches at Carl Junction’s Bulldog Stadium, second-seeded Carl Junction beat seventh-seeded Hillcrest and third-seeded Willard topped sixth-seeded Neosho 7-0.

The semifinals are set for Wednesday in Carl Junction. Webb City takes on Branson at 5:30 and Carl Junction meets Willard at 7. 

The district title match is slated for noon on Saturday. 



In Monday’s semifinals, top-seeded Greenwood beat fourth-seeded Fair Grove 8-0 and third-seeded McAuley Catholic (with College Heights) beat second-seeded Mountain View-Liberty 6-1.

McAuley Catholic will meet Greenwood at 6 on Wednesday in Springfield for the district championship.



Girls soccer teams from Joplin and Carthage saw their respective seasons end in the quarterfinals of the Class 4 District 5 tournament this past Saturday. 

Third-seeded Nixa defeated sixth-seeded Joplin 2-1, while fifth-seeded Republic beat fourth-seeded Carthage 2-1.

Joplin finished the season with a record of 9-9. Carthage concluded the season at 10-9. 

In other matches, No. 1 Kickapoo beat No. 8 Springfield Central 8-0 and No. 2 Ozark topped No. 7 Waynesville 1-0.

The semifinals are slated for Tuesday night in Springfield, with Kickapoo taking on Republic and Ozark meeting Nixa. 


DISTRICT BASEBALL: Carl Junction knocks off top-seeded McDonald County in extra inning thriller


NEOSHO, Mo. — The Carl Junction Bulldogs survived and advanced.

Fourth-seeded Carl Junction let an early slip away, but the Bulldogs responded late to earn a thrilling 5-4 victory in 10 innings over top-seeded McDonald County on Monday night in a semifinal contest of the Class 5 District 7 baseball tournament at Roy B. Shaver Field. 

The Bulldogs held a four-run cushion, only to see the Mustangs tie it up in the bottom of the seventh. But the underdog Bulldogs scored the lone run of extra innings in the 10th to earn the right to play another game. 

“That was a really fun high school baseball game and I’m glad we came out on top,” Carl Junction coach Jake Stevenson said. “I have to give a lot of credit to Kevin Burgi and McDonald County. They’re a really good team. And I have to give all the credit to our players and our coaching staff. Our guys stayed composed and they took advantage of their opportunity tonight.”

The Bulldogs (13-16) will meet second-seeded Webb City (18-15) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the district championship game. 

Lucas Vanlanduit delivers a pitch for Carl Junction against McDonald County on Monday. Vanlanduit drove in the game-winning run in the 10th inning. Photo by Shawn Fowler.

“It’s awesome for these guys,” Stevenson said of being in a district title game. “We got bumped up to Class 5 a couple of years ago, so it’s great just to have this opportunity on Wednesday. We’ve got a lot of work to do at practice tomorrow and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to play on Wednesday.” 

Carl Junction will compete for a district title for the first time since 2019, when they lost to Monett.

The fourth-ranked Mustangs end a stellar season with a record of 22-9. That’s a school record for wins for the Mustangs, who also secured their first-ever Big 8 title this spring. 

“We’re not upset because we lost, we’re sad because the season is over,” Mustangs coach Kevin Burgi said. “We’ve had a great year. The three seniors (Levi Helm, Cole Martin and Colton Ruddick) who played their last game tonight did nothing but buy in and play as hard as they could for four years. Levi was tremendous on the mound today. Cole had some big at-bats…he sparks the offense. Colton gave us some really good at-bats as well. I’m proud of those guys.”

The Bulldogs got off to a great start against the favored Mustangs. 

Carl Junction pushed across three runs in the first inning against Weston Gordon on three hits and a walk. Jordan Woodruff delivered an RBI single and Shane Diskin contributed a two-run single for an early three-run cushion.

The Bulldogs added a run in the third on Drew Massey’s sacrifice fly for a 4-0 advantage. 

“Our kids were ready to play,” Stevenson said. “We had that feeling when we got on the bus today. The guys were ready to compete. I’m proud of them.” 

Held in check through the first four frames, McDonald County plated two runs in the fifth. 

Cole Martin singled, Cross Dowd doubled and Isaac Behm walked to load the bases. Destyn Dowd drew a walk to get the Mustangs on the board. After a pitching change, Tucker Walters was plunked with the bases loaded, trimming Mac County’s deficit to 4-2. 

The score held up until the bottom of the seventh. Down to their final three outs, the Mustangs rallied for two runs. Levi Helm singled and Behm doubled. After an out, a miscue in the field allowed a run to score. 

With two outs, the tying run scored from third on a wild pitch. The Bulldogs got the final out to send the game into extra innings. 

“We knew 4-0 wasn’t safe,” Stevenson said. “We knew they’d battle back. But when they tied it up, I thought our kids could have quit or went away. They continued to fight and be resilient. And we’ve had some tough times this year and we’ve had our backs against the wall at times this year. I feel like some of those moments prepared us for a game like tonight.”

McDonald County had the bases loaded with no outs in the ninth, but the Bulldogs and relief pitcher Diskin somehow escaped unscathed, as a strikeout, a pop out and a ground out up the middle ended the threat. 

The Bulldogs plated the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th. Logan Eck and Kyler Perry both walked before Woodruff singled to load the bases with one out. Lucas Vanlanduit then came through in a big way, as he lifted a sac fly to right, giving the Bulldogs a 5-4 advantage.

The Mustangs went down in order in the bottom half of the frame, and the Bulldogs celebrated a memorable victory.

“Coach Stevenson has done a great job at Carl,” Burgi said. “He got his guys ready to play. There’s not a lot of things for our guys to hang their heads about. We couldn’t get the bats going early, but we had our chances late. That’s the game of baseball. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”



Woodruff was the lone Bulldog to record two hits.

Vanlanduit went 4 2/3 innings on the mound, allowing two earned runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out seven.

Diskin pitched the final 5 1/3 innings to earn the win. He gave up two runs, none earned, on two hits and three walks while striking out four.

Mac County’s Gordon went two innings and surrendered three runs, two earned, on three hits and two walks.

Helm pitched 7 1/3 innings, striking out 13 and allowing one hit and one walk. Behm recorded two outs and gave up one hit. Helm had three hits for the Mustangs, while Martin had two.


The Carl Junction Bulldogs upset No. 1 seed McDonald County 5-4 in 10 innings on Monday in a Class 5 District 7 semifinal. All photos by Shawn Fowler.





DISTRICT BASEBALL ROUNDUP: College Heights and McAuley fall in district semifinals



Top-seeded Marion C. Early scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn a walk-off win over College Heights in the semifinals of the Class 2 District 12 Tournament on Monday.

The Cougars scored three runs in the top of the first to take the initial lead before building a 7-2 advantage through four and a half innings following a four-run fifth. The Panthers climbed back into the game with three runs in the fifth inning to time the lead to 7-5 before walking off with three runs in the seventh.

College Heights closes the season with a 6-13 record and graduates senior Nicholas Brueggemann.

Jacob Presley started and took a no-decision after allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits, two walks and two strikeouts in five innings. Hadan Madewell allowed three runs, two earned, on three hits, a walk and a strikeout in one relief inning. Triston Bruegman earned the win in relief with two strikeouts in one scoreless inning.

Smoke Ezell started and took a no-decision for CHC after allowing five runs, two earned, on six hits and three strikeouts in six innings. Brueggemann allowed one run on two hits, a walk and strikeout in 1/3 of an inning, while Liam Nelson took the loss after allowing two runs on a hit and a walk in relief.

Jayce Walker had three hits, including a double, and scored two runs for CHC at the plate. Brueggemann had two hits and scored a run, while Caleb Evans had two hits, including a double, and drove in three runs.




HURLEY, Mo. — Third-seeded Exeter scored five runs in the third inning to fuel a 6-1 win over second-seeded McAuley Catholic in the Class 1 District 7 semifinals at Hurley High School on Monday.

The Warriors end the season with a 6-9 record and graduate seniors Declan Berkstresser and Kevin Tran.

Corey Hilburn earned the win after allowing one run on one hit, seven walks and eight strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Wyatt Lemons pitched 2 1/3 scoreless relief innings, allowing one hit and striking out four. Gretzky Lee pitched 1/3 of an inning relief.

Kable Reichardt was saddled with the complete-game loss after allowing six unearned runs on five hits, two walks and 12 strikeouts in seven innings.

Zach Lee had two hits and scored two runs to lead Exeter offensively. 

Bradley Wagner and Kendall Jones each had hits for McAuley, with Jones scoring the lone run. Michael Parrigon walked twice and had an RBI.

DISTRICT BASEBALL: Carthage’s season ends in loss to Ozark

Third-seeded Ozark scored a single tally in the third inning and added an insurance run in the fifth while keeping Carthage out of the run column in a 2-0 win in the final game of the Class 6 District 6 Tournament’s opening round on Monday at the JHS Athletic Complex.

“We always ask our kids to play and compete from innings one through seven, and I think they did that today,” Carthage coach Luke Bordewick said. “(Starting pitcher) Kaden Arr kept us in it and was lights out, getting us out of a couple of big jams. … Offensively, we had our chances. That is what we want Carthage baseball to be—competing the entire game.”

Carthage’s season ends with a 7-23 record and the Tigers graduate seniors Parker Copeland, Landon Parker, Zach Geter, Logan Carmickle, Kanen Vogt, Nate Norbury, Kaden Arr, Caden Kabance, Braxdon Tate and Sylas Browning.

“They are such good kids,” Bordewick said. “Gish dang, they are such a great group of kids. They make it a joy to come to the ballpark every day. For me personally, they helped me rediscover my love for the game. … They made it fun day in and day out. I told them after the game that I think they saved me as a coach. I wasn’t looking at walking away, but last year was a tough year. This year, I just can’t thank them enough for it. They are competitors and they grinded all year. It just didn’t turn out the way we wanted, but I can’t thank them enough for it.

“This group loves baseball. They love coming out and competing every single day. Over the course of a 32ish game season, it can be a grind. These kids never got down, stuck with it and believed they were going to be in it at the end of the year and they were.”

Brody Baumann pitched a complete-game shutout for the win, scattering two hits, walking one and striking out seven in seven innings.

Arr took the tough-luck complete-game loss after allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits, a walk and six strikeouts in six innings.

“He has been like that for us all year and his entire pitching career at Carthage,” Bordewick said. “He is a guy who is going to give his best 100 percent of the time. He really dove into the pitcher-only role this year and it showed. Stellar performance against a really good Ozark team.”

Ozark took the game’s first lead in the bottom of the third inning when Cooper Buvid singled to center field with a pair of runners on to plate Brock Dodd for a 1-0 advantage.

Ozark pushed the lead to 2-0 in the last of the fifth inning after Devyn Wright led the frame off with a single before coming around to score on a sacrifice fly from Buvid.

Like so many times this year, Carthage didn’t go down without a fight, threatening in the top of the seventh with Carmickle starting the inning off with a single before Browning reached on an Ozark error. Baumann responded with a strikeout, a pop up and a groundout to end the threat and the game.

Wright had two hits and scored a run, while Buvid had a hit and drove in two for Ozark.

Carmickle and Bradyn Tate each had hits for Carthage.

Ozark takes on second-seeded Kickapoo at 6:30 p.m. in the district semifinals on Tuesday at the JHS Athletic Complex.


Top-seeded Nixa (31-3) opened the day with a 12-2 win in six innings over eight-seeded Springfield Central (6-17). Nixa and fourth-seeded Republic play at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Second-seeded Kickapoo (25-7) earned a 7-4 win over seventh-seeded Lebanon (10-16) in the third game of the day.

DISTRICT BASEBALL: Stellar pitching leads Cardinals past Wildcats, into championship game

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Webb City Cardinals are back in a familiar position — playing for a district championship. 

Led by stellar pitching, and by manufacturing just enough offense, second-seeded Webb City knocked off third-seeded Neosho 2-0 in a semifinal contest of the Class 5 District 7 tournament on Monday at Roy B. Shaver Field.

The Cardinals are in the district finals for the sixth time in eight years, including the second straight season.

“It’s great to be playing for a district championship,” Cardinals coach Flave Darnell said. “We’ve been waiting for this for a year. We’re super excited, but we know we’re going to face a good club. We’re going to come back here and play really well on Wednesday. We’re excited and we’ll see what happens.” 

The Cardinals (18-15) will meet Carl Junction (13-16) at 6 on Wednesday for the district championship. 

Webb City’s Gavin Stowell delivers a pitch against Neosho on Monday. Photo by Shawn Fowler.

With the season on the line, Webb City senior southpaw Gavin Stowell threw a gem. A Highland Community College signee, Stowell hurled 5 2/3 scoreless innings, limiting the Wildcats to two hits and three walks while striking out eight.

“I could not be happier for Gavin,” Darnell said. “He pitched big when he needed to pitch big. He had kind of an up and down season, but he’s been on a steady incline with each outing. When he’s in the zone, he’s super hard to hit. When Gavin can throw his fastball for a strike, he’s hard to score runs on.”

Senior right-hander Cooper Crouch recorded the final four outs and did not allow a baserunner.

“Cooper has prepared himself to be a big-game pitcher,” Darnell said of the Crowder College signee. “We feel real good when he’s on the mound.”

The Cardinals broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third. Brantley Carter doubled to left, with Kolton Eilenstein pinch-running. 

Eric Fitch grounded out, but the throw to third from first got away, allowing Eilenstein to score the game’s first run.

“Kolton is a beast on the bases and he can disrupt and put pressure on teams when he’s on base,” Darnell said. 

Webb City added a single tally in the fourth.

Kenley Hood singled and Aidan Brock was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Kaylor Darnell ripped a run-scoring single into left field, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. 

“That was a big two-out hit by Kaylor, so that was good to see,” Coach Darnell said. 

The Wildcats threatened in the sixth, but left two stranded. Eli Zar reached on an infield single and Wyatt Shadwick walked with two outs. Crouch came in and induced an inning-ending fly ball off the bat of Quenton Hughes.

The hard-throwing Crouch struck out the side in the seventh. 

Fitch, Hood, Hayes, Kaylor Darnell and Carter had one hit apiece for the Cardinals. 

Zar and Hughes had the lone hits for the Wildcats, who finished 14-16.

Neosho coach Bo Helsel noted his squad simply couldn’t generate much offense. 

“Their lefty threw well,” Helsel said. “We had guys in scoring position several times, but we just couldn’t get that one big hit. I think if we could have got one run early it would have been a whole different game and maybe we would have swung it with more confidence. But you have to tip your cap. He threw a lot of strikes and his off-speed stuff was working.”

Austin Rodriquez pitched well in defeat for the Wildcats. A junior right-hander, Rodriquez gave up one earned run on five hits and struck out six in six innings. 

“I didn’t know what to expect out of him to be honest,” Helsel said of his starting pitcher. “We planned on throwing a few different guys. But Austin was keeping everything down in the zone and he threw a lot of strikes. His curveball was working. He grinded because they had the leadoff hitter on a lot. But he grinded and kept us in the game. I thought he did a great job today.” 

Neosho said goodbye to four seniors—Reese Miller, Matthew Velasco, Carson Williams and Ryland Foster.

After the program’s winningest season since 2015-16, the Wildcats will return a solid core next spring.

“Going from four wins to 14 wins is a big jump,” Helsel said. “Our mentality was better this season. The guys bought in. We still have a lot of things we can get better at. But overall, the team mentality was different this year and it showed. We were in a lot of competitive games and hopefully that pays off next year. We’ll have eight seniors next year and I think we’ll be very competitive. We’ll have a good core coming back for sure.” 


Cooper Crouch and the Webb City Cardinals defeated Neosho 2-0 in the district semifinals on Monday. Photos by Shawn Fowler.