Hornettes Claim Second Place At NIT

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The Hornettes softball team received the second place plaque after defeating Murphysboro, and Marion in their first two games of the NIT. The Hornettes fell to Herrin in the championship game. Back Row: Joey Lane, Bailey Melton, Mackenzie McFeron, Jordan Stiegman, Karly Stanowski, Alli Liske, Hayley Kujawa, and Holli Fullerton. Front Row: Jenna McClintock, Libby Ahlers, Paige Kasten, Deidra Holzhauer, Brooke Burcham, Jenna Harris, Brooke Bartling, and Sophie Heck.

The Nashville Hornettes had a busy week as the played six games, as well as finishing a suspended game with DuQuoin The Hornettes had conference matchups against Carterville, and DuQuoin, and competed in the Nashville Invitational Softball Tournament, in which the Hornettes took home second place, falling to Herrin in the championship game.

The Hornettes saw their first action of the week as they took on top-ranked Carterville. The Hornettes gave them all they could handle, but fell just short, dropping the game 3-1. The Hornettes got on the board first, as Nashville took the lead with a run in the third. The Hornettes could not hold on, as Carterville scored all three of their runs in the fifth inning.

Deidra Holzhauer was on the mound pitching all seven innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits while striking out eight. At the plate Mackenzie McFeron was 2-3 with a run scored and a steal. Paige Kasten also notched two hits in the ball game, with a steal. The lone other hits on the day for Nashville came off the bats of Brooke Burcham, and Libby Ahlers.

The Hornettes next game of the week, saw them match up against DuQuoin in a game that was shortened by rain, and picked back up on Monday. The Hornettes were able to bounce back from their lone conference loss to defeat DuQuoin 5-2. The Hornettes got two in the first, and three in the fifth and led 5-2 before the rain suspended the game in the top of the seventh inning.

Holzhauer pitched all seven innings for Nashville, as she gave up just two runs on five hits, and struck out four batters. At the plate, Nashville was led by Jordan Stiegman, as she went 2-4 with three RBIs and a triple. Kasten also had two hits in the contest, to go along with two stolen bases. Burcham, Holzhauer, McFeron, Alli Liske, and Sophie Heck each had one hit apiece for Nashville. Bailey Melton scored a run for the Hornettes in the win.

The Hornettes then began play in the Nashville Invitational Softball Tournament, which was held Saturday, April 23. After a delay, the Hornettes finally got their first game underway against Murphysboro. The Hornettes put the game away early, as Nashville led 7-2 after two innings of play. Nashville would add two in the fifth, and two in the sixth, and win the game 11-3. Holzhauer pitched all seven innings for Nashville giving up three earned runs, on five hits, while walking one and striking out four.

Karly Stanowski led Nashville at the plate going 3-4 with four RBIs a home run, a double, and a run scored. Liske also crushed a homer, as she went back to back with Stanowski in the sixth inning. McFeron had three hits in the ball game to go along with three steals, a RBI and two runs. Stiegman finished with one hit, one run, one RBI, and one steal for Nashville. Ahlers had two hits in the game for Nashville, scoring two runs, stealing a base, and having a RBI. Kasten, Holzhauer, and Joey Lane each had a hit for Nashville. Burcham finished with a RBI while Heck finished with one run and a steal.

The Hornettes next matchup in the tournament, came against Marion. Marion came into the tournament with a 16-1 record. With a spot in the championship on the line, Nashville was able to get on the board first, with two runs in the top of the first. Marion came back with a run in the bottom of the inning, and grabbed the lead with two in the fifth. Nashville got one run in the sixth, and the score would remain tied, going into extra innings. In extra innings, the NIT used international tiebreaker rules, as one player started on second base. The Hornettes capitalized scoring four runs in the eighth, winning the game 7-5.

Holzhauer pitched all eight innings one the mound giving up five runs, two earned, on seven hits, while striking out two batters. Kasten led Nashville at the plate going 3-4 with three runs scored and two steals. McFeron notched two hits in the win to go along with two runs scored. Stiegman had two big RBIs in the game, while Burcham, Stanowski, Liske, and Holzhauer each had an RBI in the win.

With the win, Nashville earned a place in the championship against Herrin. A closely contested contest, the Hornettes could not make a comeback in the seventh, and dropped the game 8-3. Herrin got on the board first in the game, taking a 3-0 lead after four innings of play. In the fifth, Nashville was able to cut the deficit to one. A single by Stiegman tied the game in the sixth, but Herrin came back with an onslaught in the bottom of the inning. Herrin scored five runs in the inning, on two home runs. Herrin would go onto to win the championship 8-3.

Holzhauer pitched the first four innings, giving up three runs, one earned, striking out one, and walking one batter. Liske came in to pitch the final two innings, giving up five runs, two earned on four hits striking out one batter. At the plate, Liske connected on her second home run of the tournament in the fifth. Stiegman and McFeron each had an RBI single in the game. Holzhauer added two hits, while Kasten, Burcham, and Heck each had one hit apiece in the loss.

The Hornettes last game of the week, saw a dominating victory over DuQuoin. The Hornettes scored early and often, as they led 14-1 after three innings. DuQuoin would add two in the fifth, but the Hornettes won easily 14-3.

Holzhauer pitched all five innings on the mound, picking up the win. Holzhauer gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits, and five strikeouts. At the plate, five Nashville batter finished with multiple hits. Holzhauer, and Stanowski each finished 2-3 with four RBIs and a double on the day. Burcham finished 2-2 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Stiegman finished 2-3 with two runs, a double, and a RBI. Lane finished with three runs scored in the game. Kasten finished with two hits and two runs to go along with a sacrifice. McFeron and Ahlers each had a hit in the win.