Sarah Siegismund hasn’t forgotten that time she almost had a perfect game. She also hasn’t let teammate Kari Hillenburg forget, either.
Pitching in sectionals for Pleasant Hope her freshman season, Siegismund was on top of her game that day. She estimates it was a career day for total strikeouts.
And, until a late error charged to the shortstop Hillenburg, it was nearly a perfect game.
"I remind her of that almost every day," Siegismund laughed.
Missed perfect game aside, the Pleasant Hope Lady Pirates went on to make the state final four that season. Last fall, Pleasant Hope went undefeated before losing in the state title game.
The goal for 2012 is clear.
"We're going to try to make a big bang out of this year," Siegismund said. "We've gotten third and second place, so we're pushing hard to win it all."
Pleasant Hope stands a good chance of doing that in Class 2 behind the arm of its senior pitcher and a quality defense. The Lady Pirates are 11-1 as of Sept. 19, the only blemish coming in a 7-5 home loss to Class 4 Nixa.
While some pitchers try to strike out every batter, Lady Pirates coach Jim Flora said Siegismund isn’t afraid to lean on her defense.
"She never gets rattled," Flora said. "The best thing about Sarah is the she pitches to contact, and our defense is so good, it keeps everybody active in the game. She's OK with (getting ground balls). She can get strikeouts when she needs them, but she's happy with letting the defense do the work."
Softball is big in Pleasant Hope, and the Lady Pirates’ 7-player senior class this fall has been playing together for seven years. Behind the plate since the beginning has been Catlin Evans.
"It's a blessing to have her as a catcher," said Siegismund. "I pulled her arm to play in 6th grade, and she's been my catcher ever since. It's a blessing, we're best friends and basically sisters, we think alike on the field."
The bond reflects on the field during games, but not always in pregame warmups.
"We always ask her, 'Sarah do you feel anything today?' And she's always like, 'Guys, I don't feel anything today. I just don't have it,'" Evans said. "She goes up there and says she doesn't get a feeling, she just pitches. That's what she does."
Flora said Siegismund has an ERA of around 1.00 this season. She also puts in extra time, pitching in the offseason and winter or with her mom.
"She was really prepared by the time she was a freshman, she had already pitched as many games as some seniors we played," Flora said.
Pleasant Hope’s final regular season home game is Oct. 1 against Carthage.
"We say we'll cry at Senior Night, and we probably will, but it'll be about the best memories and just being with these girls for the last seven years," Evans said. “It’s been a great ride.”