The Jefferson Blue Jays (6-11) took the field for the third time this week looking for a win against their cross-town rivals, the Festus Tigers (5-17). Jefferson struggled to keep up with the Tigers’ offensive attack and took the loss 9-4.
The Blue Jays entered Wednesday night’s game having lost two games previously this week to Desoto and Saxony Lutheran and needed a win. The game against Festus also proved crucial, as not only was it a conference matchup, but a cross-town rivalry both teams were desperate to win.
Starting for the Blue Jays was sophomore Morgan Figliolo, who entered the game posting a record of 1-2 with an ERA of 5.75 and a WHIP of 1.80.
The Blue Jays started the game off on the correct foot when leadoff hitter Maggie Brunke was hit by a pitch and subsequently brought home off the bat of Catryn Cattoor’s two-run homer.
The first inning scoring gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead, but that lead would be both short-lived and their only lead of the game. Festus was able to get three runs on the board off Figliolo, two of which came off a home run.
The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the third thanks to Cattoor’s second home run of the night, a solo shot to center field, evening the score at 3-3.
In the second inning, Figliolo was replaced by freshman Marissa Fasnut, who got on the mound for the first time this season. Fasnut was able to keep the Tigers from scoring in the second, but in the third, she was replaced by Cami Menke after giving up a run to give the Tigers the lead back at 4-3.
Neither side scored again until the bottom of the fifth when the Tigers began to pull away with the lead. The Tigers got three runs secured thanks to a triple and a pair of errors, and added two more in the bottom of the sixth after a single and yet another error.
Now staring at a six-run deficit, the Blue Jays only had one chance remaining to level the score. In the top of the seventh, they managed to get one run back on a double from Cattoor to drive home Brunke, but that was the only offense the Blue Jays could muster, falling 9-4.
Menke was tagged with the loss on the night after coming in as a sub in the third inning. Menke pitched four innings giving up five runs (one earned) on six hits with one strikeout. This was Menke’s third loss on the season, giving her a record of 2-3 and an ERA of 7.30.
Figliolo pitched one inning, giving up three runs (two earned), three hits and a walk before being replaced by Fasnut. Fasnut held her own in her first-ever trip to the mound for the Blue Jays, pitching one inning and giving up three hits and an earned run.
It was a quiet day at the plate for most Blue Jays hitters, but that statement was not true of senior catcher Cattoor. Cattoor drove home all four runs the Blue Jays scored, going 3-3 with a walk, two runs scored and two home runs. The pair of home runs gives Cattoor six on the season to go along with an outstanding batting average of .627 and an RBI total of 26, all of which lead the Blue Jays.
After the game Cattoor praised the performances of her teammates despite the loss.
“Cameron came in and gave us a great chance in the field,” she said. “Our bats were a little slow, so we didn’t end up on the winning end, but I was glad my team showed so much fight.”
The only other player to secure a hit for the Blue Jays was third baseman Brunke. Brunke went 2-2 with a walk, a hit by pitch and two runs scored. The only other players to reach base for the Blue Jays were Brynn Wilson and Gracie Friedmeyer, who got on via a walk.
It was more of the same for the Blue Jays on the JV side, as they also suffered a loss to the Festus Tigers.
The Blue Jays JV team, like their varsity teammates, got out to a 2-0 lead to start the game thanks to an RBI double from Gabby Schumer that drove home Wilson and an error off the bat of Ava O’Neal that scored Schumer.
After going up 2-0, they wouldn’t see the lead again as Festus put up seven runs while Jefferson didn’t get a hit for the rest of the game, ultimately giving the JV team a 7-2 loss.
Jefferson only has two games remaining this season before the playoffs begin. The Blue Jays retake the field Thursday night against the North County Knights, and their final game of the regular season will be Monday night against Valley Park.