Oakville softball team finishes second in state

Lafayette Lancers coach says of win: ‘Today we beat the best’

Bill Milligan photo

Bill Milligan photo


The Oakville Senior High School softball team, which had racked up an impressive 30-0 record en route to the Missouri Class 4 state championship game, dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to conference rival Lafayette Saturday.

For Oakville head coach Rich Sturm, the loss to Lafayette could go down as one of the most difficult ones to deal with in his career.

“If you’re competitive, they’re all difficult,” Sturm said. “But a lot of my disappointment comes from the girls’ disappointment. I just can’t compliment these girls enough of what they were able to do this season. Hopefully, everyone doesn’t gauge our season on just one game.”

Lafayette, which now boasts eight state softball titles, scored its game-winning run in the top of the fourth when Kristen Carter scored on a hit by Dana Lawson to right field.

“Lafayette capitalized on the opportunity they had, and we just didn’t,” Sturm said. “You certainly have got to give Lafayette credit because it just wasn’t our time to win it.”

Oakville starting pitcher Megan Schallom took her first loss of the season, giving up one run on three hits while striking out six. The senior hurler finished the season with a record of 22-1 with a 0.61 earned-run average. She struck out a total of 134 batters during the season.

“Megan gave up only five hits in 14 innings this weekend,” Sturm said. “She was dynamite all weekend and did everything she could do to put us in a position to win.”

Oakville had defeated Ozark 1-0 on Friday to advance to the state championship game. The Tigers (30-1, 8-0 Suburban West) may have lost the state title, but they established themselves as one of the best teams in the history of Missouri high school softball. Their 30-game win streak will go down as one of the best in the state as Pleasant Hill holds the state record with 32 wins during the 2000 season.

“From a historical perspective, to roll off 30 wins in a row is pretty impressive,” Sturm said. “I’m really proud of them.”

Lafayette had advanced to the state championship game after defeating Blue Springs 2-1 on Friday in nine innings.

After Saturday’s victory against Oakville, Lafayette head coach Scott DeNoyer said, “We had a team meeting last night and came up with 357 reasons why we were going to win this game today. Everybody had to come up with a reason why we were going to win.”

The Tigers had defeated the Lancers twice this season, but DeNoyer said his team was confident going into the championship game.

“Oakville had some very good stats and players, but our pitcher Meghan Lambreth and our catcher Erica Shannon knew them from playing them in the summer,” he said. “We talked with them about weaknesses of everyone on their team and we tried to take advantage of those weaknesses.

“I’m so proud of our girls. All year long we’ve stressed the importance of being a team, all 25 members. This proves that ordinary people can do extraordinary things,” DeNoyer said. “All season long we’ve wanted to be the best. Today, we beat the best.”

Bill Milligan of the Call also contributed to this article.