CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — If you have seen a Spoofhound softball game the past four years, you've seen Briley Watkins, Morgan Wray and Ashlyn Alexander play and likely play a significant role in the ballgame.
Since midway through their freshman seasons, all the trio has made up over half of Maryville's starting infield.
“This group like part of my family,” Wray said. “I grew up with Ashlyn and Briley since day one.”
Watkins started out of the team's shortstop and transitioned to catcher when needed her behind the plate as a junior and senior. Alexander was a day one starter at first base and shared pitching duties all four years. Wray split time at third base early in her freshman season, but has started there ever since.
“We are all family,” Alexander said. “I have built so many friendships, and they aren't really my friends, they are my sisters. Yes, we fight, but we always make up. You can see us hugging and crying. It has been so much fun. It has been such a journey.”
There have been up and downs during their four years at Maryville, but their four years have been the four highest winning percentage seasons at Maryville since 2012.
Alexander, Watkins and Wray, along newer members of the Hound softball senior class Emily Cassavaugh Shellby Copple and Jocelyn Rodriguez, saw their Spoofhound softball careers end on Tuesday night with a 12-0 district playoff loss to Macon (15-4).
“It is just an incredible group of girls, an incredible group of young women,” Maryville coach Chandra DeMott said.
Macon jumped on Alexander, who started the game pitching, early with four runs before an out was recorded. Junior Jaccee Johnsen had the big hit with a 3-run home run to make it 4-0. Alexander got the next three batters out to end the inning.
Macon piled on with two more runs in the second, four in the third and two more in the fourth before the game was called in the fifth inning. Maryville finishes the season 6-11 overall.
Wray was Maryville's most productive hitter in the game as she reached base both times she came to the plate. Cassavaugh also had a hit and a stolen base.
While the contributions of Watkins, Wray and Alexander were felt over four seasons, DeMott points out that Copple, Rodriguez and Cassavaugh as made big impacts on the team this season.
“(Copple) was a great addition in terms of really taking care of our younger girls and really doing what was needed,” DeMott said. “She was the voice tonight in the dugout and really tried to keep spirits high.
“(Rodriguez) definitely knew the culture and the program coming in. It was nice to have her there. I can't say enough about Cassavaugh coming over to us. I think that was a well made switch for us and really helped us out.”
Maryville will certainly have a lot to replace next season but with five starters returning the future is bright. This year's group of seasons hope they left a good culture for the team to build on.
“I hope they remember our leadership and just giving 100 percent on the field,” Watkins said.
They will still be keeping tabs on the program too.
“I'm going to be in the crowd cheering them on,” Alexander said. “I'm going to be there for them, and I always will be.”
Maryville 10, DeKalb 4
Maryville rallied for a 10-4 victory over DeKalb on Monday in DeKalb.
Freshman Ella Schulte threw a complete game with no earned runs allowed and just five hits. She also had three hits, including a double.
Alonna Cross and Alexander also came up with two hits each.
Maryville 5, Lafayette 3
The Spoofhounds rallied from down three in the fifth inning to beat Lafayette 5-3 on Friday night.
Alexander led off the sixth inning with a single and was driven home with a Cassavaugh triple for the go-ahead run.
Cassavaugh had two hits to lead Maryville's offense.