Softball Tigers fall 3-2 to Rockwood Summit

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Attempting to make their third consecutive appearance in the semifinals of the Missouri Class 4 softball championship, the Oakville Senior High School Tigers dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to Rockwood Summit Saturday morning.

“I felt like we approached the plate really well,” Oakville head coach Rich Sturm told the Call. “We just were not able to put swings on the ball when we were knocking on their door.”

The Tigers (21-7, 6-2 Suburban West) tagged Summit starting pitcher Kristin Nottelmann for two earned runs on eight hits in seven innings. Nottelmann walked two batters and struck out eight in the win over Oakville.

“Obviously, Nottelmann’s reputation speaks for itself,” Sturm said. “But overall, I was very happy with our approach at the plate against her.”

Oakville starting pitcher Amanda Tharp gave up one earned run on six hits in six innings.

The senior hurler also walked seven batters, including three intentional walks, and struck out five. Tharp finished the season with a 13-7 record overall and a 0.85 earned run average.

“I think that the game on Saturday was pretty similar to her game against Lindbergh,” Sturm said. “She buckled down and made some great pitches when we needed her to, so I was very happy with her performance.”

Oakville’s Kristin Nicoletti, Rachel Schaefer and Maggie Ruckenbrod each had two-hit performances that put Oakville in scoring position throughout the game.

“All of those girls put us in a scoring position at one point in the game,” Sturm said. “So from an offensive standpoint, I couldn’t ask of any more.”

Oakville will lose Nicoletti and Tharp to graduation this season, which means that the Tigers will have some gaps to fill in next year’s lineup.

“We obviously have some big losses,” the Oakville coach said. “But we have a lot to build on, and I expect them to come back next August and be better than we were this year.”