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Jones fires no-hitter as the Eagles win in five innings
ORAN, Mo. -- Anna Jones didn't even realize she had pitched a no-hitter, probably because of the three fifth-inning runs she allowed.
The Oran High School sophomore was happy once she found out.
"I didn't know it," Jones said. "It's nice. But I couldn't do it without the defense behind me."
Jones' first no-hitter on the high school level was a five-inning gem Wednesday as the Eagles run-ruled visiting Delta 13-3.
Jones was perfect through four innings, striking out eight of the 12 batters she faced.
The left-hander carried a 12-0 lead into the top of the fifth but she walked the leadoff hitter to end her perfect game hopes.
Two errors and another walk led to Delta (3-8) scoring three unearned runs and forcing Oran (9-6) to bat again in the bottom of the fifth.
The Eagles pushed across a run, regaining their 10-run lead and ending the contest.
"We had a really good game," junior third baseman Addie Kielhofner said.
Jones finished with nine strikeouts. The closest Delta came to a hit was in the fifth inning, when junior right fielder Jamie Kern -- who entered the game late -- made a nice running catch on freshman Jenna Henson's line drive.
"She [Jones] pitched an awesome game. Her ball really moves," first-year Oran coach Jim Eftink said. "She's really come on. Here lately she's been on fire."
Jones said the curveball was her best pitch Wednesday. She also mixed in plenty of fastballs.
"The curveball works best," she said. "Just hitting spots."
Eftink said Jones and freshman Tatum May have been the Eagles' primary pitchers as a very young Oran team is putting together a solid season.
"They've both done a good job," said Eftink, whose squad features only one senior. "We're having a good year. I've got some real young girls that have really stepped up."
Eftink said the Eagles entered Wednesday's game struggling at the plate but they banged out eight hits while taking advantage of seven errors and five walks. They also stole 10 bases.
"We've been in a slump and today our bats came alive," Kielhofner said.
May, who played first base Wednesday, went 2 for 2 and drew a walk. She scored two runs and stole two bases.
Kielhofner went 2 for 3 while also reaching base on an error and a walk. She drove in two runs, scored three times and stole three bases.
Jones tripled, walked twice and scored three runs. Sophomore catcher Allie Cummins belted a three-RBI triple.
"We've been slumping lately. I was glad to see us come out of it," Eftink said.
Oran manufactured an unearned run in the first inning. Kielhofner led off by reaching on an error, stole second and third with one out and scored on a two-out wild pitch.
The Eagles made it 4-0 in the second inning, just one of the runs being earned. Kielhofner had the big blow, a two-RBI single.
Oran got two runs in the third inning and broke the game wide open with a six-run fourth inning that featured Cummins' three-RBI triple. She was able to circle the bases as a throw got away for an error.
"We've just got to make more plays. Too many errors," Delta coach Rebecca Cook said. "Oran is good. They play all summer long and it shows."
Cook thought sophomore pitcher Ciara Coomer threw well. Five of the 13 runs she allowed were unearned. She struck out six and walked five.
"She pitched good. We have to make more plays behind her," Cook said.
Cook also liked that the Bobcats kept battling and at least extended the game past the top of the fifth inning even though they never got a hit.
"I'm glad my girls didn't roll over in the fifth inning," said Cook, whose squad also features a youthful roster with only two seniors. "We put the ball in play and made them make plays."
Oran didn't make all the plays in that one frame, which Eftink said has been a problem for the Eagles.
"We had a few boo-boos in the last inning, a couple of walks," he said. "That's what we need to work on, the one bad inning."
Kielhofner said the Eagles are focused on finishing the regular season strong and then making a run at powerhouse Naylor in the Class 1 District 1 tournament that also features Delta.
"We've played them [Naylor] two years in a row in the district final and they beat us both years," Kielhofner said. "This year we're going to try to put up a fight."
WP -- Anna Jones. LP -- Ciara Coomer. 3B -- Jones (O), Allie Cummins (O). Multiple hits -- Oran: Tatum May 2-2, Addie Kielhofner 2-3. Records -- Delta 3-8, Oran 9-6.