SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Addison Purvis enjoyed every moment of another Sullivan offensive outburst, and even got in on the fun.
While no offensive slouch herself, the senior pitcher and Mississippi State recruit gave the seal of approval to the other Eagles' hitters Friday.
Sullivan pounded out 13 hits and scored in all but three innings to roll past Savannah 10-2 in a Class 3 state semifinal at Killian Sports Complex.
“My hitting girls did very well,” Purvis said. “We've been working so hard all week and I am glad we were able to do it. We worked on the rise balls to see them more (and lay off them). It feels great to be where we are now and have a chance for something big tomorrow.”
Sullivan (25-6) advanced to face Helias (25-5) in the title game at 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Eagles' offensive roll started in the first inning when freshman Kayla Ulrich and Purvis drew back-to-back leadoff walks to start the contest. Two batters later, senior Kloey Blanton drove in a pair of runs with a two-out double.
Sullivan doubled its advantage an inning later after Payton Counts walked and later scored when Madyson Stahl reached on an error. Purvis followed with an RBI single two batters later to give herself a comfortable cushion.
“That was the plan, just to hit, put the ball in play and I did, we did, and it worked,” Blanton said. “Making them shake and getting them scared was important to us. We wanted to take control like we always do. It was important to see that today.”
While the Eagles took flight on offense, Purvis grounded Savannah (19-3), which was making its state tournament debut.
Purvis struck out the first nine batters she faced and did not allow a hit until Savannah junior Kaia Calloway belted a home run in the fifth to trim the deficit to 6-1. Sophomore Tajha Davis-Cogdill added a homer in the sixth for the Savages' final run.
“I think when you go up against good, solid teams like that, you can;'t give them anything,” Savannah coach Ashley Anderson said. “We talked about how our consistency in the field not being what it needed to be early. We came back, but that first inning, I don't know, you chalk it up to nerves.”
With Purvis in control — allowing just three hits and three walks with 13 strikeouts — Sullivan continued to tack on runs.
Junior Hanna Johanning smacked a two-run double in the fourth before senior Payton Counts and freshman Kayla Ulrich each drove in a pair in the sixth.
“We've been taking at-bats, preparing all week long, just to get ready for her and what we knew of her,” Sullivan coach Ashley Crump of Savannah junior pitcher Kenzie Schopfer. “We did a great job of sticking to our game plan but making adjustments when we needed to in the box. Here, you don't have at bat, to at bat to make adjustments, it has to be swing to swing. Kayla Ulrich, golly, to draw a lead-off walk in a state semifinal game. She set us up for success.”
Sullivan, in search of its first state title in program history, will face a somewhat familiar foe.
For years, Helias and Sullivan competed in the same district — the last encounter was a 3-2 Sullivan win in 2017.
The Eagles have yet to win a title but they have experience playing in the championship. The Eagles finished second in 2016 after a 3-0 loss to Warrenton and took third in 2003, 2011 and 2018. Helias has made four state championship appearances and won a state title in 2003.
“We're ready,” Purvis said. “We've worked so hard. We know that they (Helias) are a good team, but so are we. We're going to go out and give it our all and work together to win the championship.”