By Travis Volz
In what may have been one of the best high school softball games ever played in southern Illinois, the Nashville Hornettes survived a 15-inning marathon of a ballgame to beat Carterville 2-1 for the championship of the Carterville Sectional.
It took almost three hours to decide which of the powerhouse teams would advance to the Johnston City Super Sectional, and it was Karly Stanowski’s run scoring single in the bottom of the 15th inning that did it.
“What can you say about a game like that?” Nashville coach Dempsey Witte asked after the game. “Both pitchers were at the top of their games, and I could not be any prouder of how our players just hung in there and fought.”
Nashville’s ace Maci Ingram went toe-to-toe with the Lions’ Avery English for more than two games’ worth of innings, and it was Ingram coming away with the victory after striking out 18 hitters.
Daley Buchanan scored the winning run after reaching on an error in the 15th. Brooke Burcham moved her to second with a sacrifice, and Stanowski hit a bloop single over the outstretched glove of Carterville’s shortstop that allowed Buchanan to score the winner.
“We played them twice in the regular season, and both games were close,” Witte said. “I thought we were due for a break, and the girls kept fighting and made it happen.”
Carterville had beaten Nashville in both of their regular season matchups, both one-run wins in extra innings. The two teams combined to play 37 innings in their three games this season, a testament to how evenly matched the two squads are.
The Hornettes scored the first run of the game in the third. Alli Liske reached after being hit by a pitch, and Mackenzie McFeron ripped an RBI double to put Nashville on top.
Ingram made that run stand up until the seventh, when Carterville knotted the score at 1-1 to force extra innings.
Nashville managed just three hits against English, but Ingram was just as dominant, as she shut down Carterville’s powerful offense to the tune of just four hits and a single run.
For More, Please Read The June 3 Edition Of The Nashville News.
The Nashville Hornettes show off the plaque after beating Carterville for the sectional championship Saturday. Front row, from left: Maci Ingram, Jordi Harre, Emily Thompson, Daley Buchanan, Karly Stanowski, Brooke Bartling and Paige Kasten. Standing: Joey Lane, trainer John Becker, Dakota Hunter, Wayne Harre, Diedra Holzhauer, Brooke Burcham, Mackenzie McFeron, Jordan Stiegman, Alli Liske, Patrick Weathers, Bethany Hinkle, Charlie Heck and head coach Dempsey Witte.
(photo by Beth McFeron)