The offense was there from the get-go Monday night for the Jefferson City Lady Jays softball team.
Jefferson City opened the bottom half of the first inning with three consecutive hits and never looked back, routing the Sedalia Smith-Cotton Lady Tigers 11-1 in five innings on Senior Night at Vogel Field.
"Sometimes we start off real flat and sometimes we come out swinging," Lady Jays coach Zac Miller said.
There was no doubt the Lady Jays came out swinging in this game. Addison Morgan doubled off the base of the left-center field wall, then Kara Daly drove her home with a stand-up triple to right field. Daly scored on Megan Green's single into center field to make the score 2-0 before an out was recorded in Jefferson City's half of the first.
"It really set the tempo for the whole game," Miller said. "Being able to come out and score quick, that's one thing that we haven't been very efficient this year. Every now and then, we have a couple games where we score in the first inning, but to be able to jump out and have the first three girls just barreling up balls and hitting them hard, that's encouraging."
In the second, Morgan singled off the Smith-Cotton pitcher to score Brooke Bates and extend the lead to 3-0. The Lady Jays scored in every inning Monday.
Olivia Wallace's sacrifice fly in the third scored Avrey Reynolds and pushed Jefferson City's lead to four runs.
Green started in the circle for the Lady Jays and struck out three of the first nine batters she faced in the first three innings. In the fourth, Taylor Ditzfeld hit a leadoff single just out of the reach of a diving Daly at shortstop for the Lady Tigers' first hit.
Ditzfeld advanced to third on an error and scored on a single by Calyssa Plymell, cutting Jefferson City's lead to 4-1.
Green, one of the Lady Jays' five seniors, pitched a two-hitter. She finished with one walk and four strikeouts in five innings.
"We were happy for her, especially on Senior Night," Miller said. "She went out and threw really well. She just let her defense work."
Smith-Cotton did not leave a runner on base in the game. The Lady Jays turned double plays to end the first and fourth innings, while Green had 1-2-3 innings in the second, third and fifth.
"In softball, you don't see the 5-4-3 double play very often," Miller said of the double play to end the fourth. "That was a great one to get started, with the right ball in the right place. Jaiden (Allabaugh) was able to start that and get that going."
Entering the bottom of the fourth, Jefferson City's offense had already produced seven hits but only had a 4-1 lead to show for it.
"It felt like we were hitting well, but we weren't putting up that crooked number," Miller said. "We were really trying to push that inning."
A five-run fourth inning was enough of a crooked number for Miller. The inning was highlighted by a three-run home run from Reece DeSimone to left-center, making the score 8-1.
"Reece got a good pitch, she put a good swing on it and drove it," Miller said.
Green and Abi Karr also had RBI singles in the fourth.
In the fifth, Green drove in her third run with an RBI single. Then, with two outs, Reynolds lined a single to right field, scoring Ella Berendzen to end the game by run-rule.
"We had lots of hits up and down the order," Miller said.
All five seniors — Allabaugh, Bates, Green, Karr and Wallace — either reached base or drove in a run for the Lady Jays.
Green went 3-for-4 with three singles, while Reynolds finished with two doubles and a single. Morgan had a single and a double and Karr added two singles.
With the win against Smith-Cotton, Jefferson City has a 2-2 record against Class 4 District 8 opponents. The Lady Jays lost to Hickman and Rock Bridge and defeated Battle earlier this season.
"This district could go about four different ways," Miller said. "We're going to have to come out and play. We feel like we have as good a shot as anybody."
Jefferson City (13-7) hosts Southern Boone on Wednesday in its final home game this season.