Girls Varsity Softball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
PREP SOFTBALL: Tigers’ shutout of Redbirds ‘a huge accomplishment’
Matt Kamp, email@example.com
Matt Kamp / Hearst Illinois
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Edwardsville’s Sydney Lawrence (right) scampers into third base to beat the throw to Alton shortstop Tami Wong on Wednesday at the District 7 Sports Complex in Edwardsville.
EDWARDSVILLE — The Edwardsville Tigers got the timely hit when they needed to Wednesday.
The Alton Redbirds didn’t.
The Tigers went 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position, including a two-out, two-run homer from Maria Smith in a three-run fourth inning, en route to a 5-0 victory over the Redbirds in Southwestern Conference action inside the District 7 Sports Complex.
Alton went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and it stranded the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh innings. It was its first shutout loss since losing 15-0 to Edwardsville on May 1, 2018.
“The timing of our hits really came together in crucial parts of the game. I’m really proud that we all came together,” said Smith, who went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and two RBIs.
It was the seventh straight win for the state’s 10th-ranked Tigers, who are now 10-2, including 3-0 in the SWC. The Redbirds are 9-4, including 3-1 in the SWC.
Entering Wednesday’s game averaging 10 runs per game, Alton couldn’t get the clutch hit. It stranded Abby Scyoc at third after a leadoff triple in the second and Lynna Fischer at third after a leadoff double in the sixth. It left 10 runners on base, including seven in scoring position.
“We didn’t get the big hit when we needed to,” Redbirds coach Dan Carter said. “Edwardsville played a very good ball game. They hit up and down the lineup, pitched well and played pretty good defense. All in all, it was two good softball teams that played a very good ballgame. Unfortunately, we came out on the bottom end of it today.”
While Alton couldn’t deliver in the clutch, Edwardsville did.
A two-out rally in the third started on a double by Smith, who struck out in her first at-bat. Katherine Bobinski-Boyd walked. Moe Kastens followed with a RBI single up the middle, making it 1-0. Lexi Gorniak then singled to right for the 2-0 lead.
“We hit the ball hard. The kids did a good job and it’s all about timing in this game,” Edwardsville coach Lori Blade said.
It was more of the same in the fourth.
A one-out double by pinch-hitter Sydney Lawrence pushed the lead to 3-0. After a groundout, Smith pounded a home run to center for the 5-0 lead.
“I saw a nice, fat softball. I knew I had to get the runner in and I took a swing. I felt it when I hit it,” said Smith of her second home run of the week.
Smith now leads the team with four home runs and is tied with Kastens with 11 RBIs. Edwardsville pitchers Kay Swanson and Ryleigh Owens took care of the rest.
Swanson started and went 4 1/3 innings. She allowed five hits with three strikeouts. Owens went the final 2 2/3 innings and struck out four. She allowed three hits.
“They did a great job. To shut that group out is a huge accomplishment,” Blade said.
Swanson worked out of her biggest jam in the second after giving up a leadoff triple to Scyoc. The Edwardsville pitcher retired Emma Kiger, Audrey Evola and Shelby Kulp via groundouts to get out of it.
“We had that leadoff triple and couldn’t do anything with it,” Carter said.
The Redbirds loaded the bases against Swanson in the fifth, but Owens came on and struck out Abby Sullivan and Ashlyn Betz. In the seventh, Owens struck out Fischer looking to end the bases-loaded threat.
“It was a battle from the first pitch to the last. Even though it was 5-0, it was one of those games that one pitch could have changed it. We hit the ball pretty hard,” Carter said.
Tami Wong and Sullivan each had two hits for the Redbirds, who finished with eight as a team. Edwardsville, which had 10 hits, got two hits from Mackenzie Owens and Kastens, along with Smith.
Alyson Haegele started for Alton and allowed five runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk in 4 1/3 innings.