By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornettes softball team bounced back from a slow start to the season, to win three of their last four games. After dropping a game to Trico on Monday March 20, the Hornettes rattled off three straight wins over Johnston City, Salem, and New Athens. The Hornettes moved their record to 4-4 on the season.
The Hornettes offense could not get going when the Hornettes traveled to Trico on March 20. The Hornettes managed just one hit in the game.
Trico got the scoring started early, as they put three runs up in the first inning. That was all Trico would need, as the Hornettes were shut down offensively. Trico would add a run in the third, and two runs in the fifth, and grabbed a 6-0 victory over Nashville.
Karly Stanowski had the lone hit for Nashville in the game. Alli Liske was the only other baserunner for Nashville, as she had a walk in the game. Jenna Harris started the game for Nashville, and pitched the first five innings, before Kyleigh Guinzy came in in relief to finish out the game.
The Hornettes offense came alive in their next game as they defeated Johnston City 11-1 in five innings. The Hornettes finished with 11 hits in the win, and Guinzy held Johnston City to just two hits in the game.
The Hornettes got the scoring started in the second inning, when Brooke Burcham doubled to lead off the inning. Burcham would come around to score on a single by Harris. Harris would score on a single by Ahlers to give Nashville a 2-0 lead.
The Hornettes would extend their lead in the fourth, as they pushed across five runs. The Hornettes were patient at the plate in the inning, as they drew five walks. The Hornettes would add another four runs in the fifth to defeat Johnston City
Guinzy didn’t need a lot of run support on the mound. Guinzy pitched all five innings, and gave up just one earned run on two hits, and struck out six.
At the plate, Ahlers finished 3-3 with two stolen bases, two runs scored and an RBI on the day. Both Stanowski and Harris each had two RBIs in the win. Mackenzie McFeron was 3-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Heck had the lone other RBI on the day. Burcham and Paige Kasten each had a hit in the game, while Alli Liske reached base twice via the walk.
The Hornettes came away with their second straight victory on the road with a 10-4 win over Salem on March 24. The Hornettes took control early, as they scored five runs in the second inning. Each team would score in the fourth, but the Hornettes still held a 6-1 lead after four innings of play.
Nashville would add another run in the fifth, after Burcham tripled and later scored on a single by Liske. The Hornettes would added three more in the sixth, two of which came on one swing of the bat from Stanowski. Stanowski hit a two-run homer for the first home run of the season for Nashville. Salem would score three runs in the final two innings but could not complete the comeback as Nashville won 10-4.
Kujawa pitched the first six innings for Nashville, and gave up just six hits while striking out three batters. Harris pitched the final inning for the Hornettes.
At the plate, McFeron finished 3-4 with three RBIs, two runs scored, and three stolen bases. Stanowski finished 1-4 with a homerun and two RBIs. Liske, Heck, and Ahlers each finished with a RBI in the win. Jordan Stiegman and Burcham each had a hit in the game.
The Hornettes started slow in their last game of the week, but were able to come back from an early 9-0 deficit to defeat New Athens 13-11. New Athens came out swinging, as they scored five in the first, added three in the second, and one more in the third to rush out to an early 9-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the third, the Hornettes offense woke up. Ahlers reached base to lead off the inning, and the next two batters in McFeron and Kasten reached via a single. After a sacrifice by Stanowski got the Hornettes on the board. Stiegman would drive in a run, and Burcham would drive in two more with a triple. Liske would reach via an error, before Harris cleared the bases with a three run home run, capping off a seven run inning for Nashville, which cut New Athen’s lead to 9-7.
The score would hold steady until the bottom half of the fifth, when again the Hornettes would break through. The Hornettes would score six in the frame. Nashville tied the game at nine on a two-run homerun by Heck, and would go on to score four more in the inning to go ahead 13-9.
New Athens would not go away quietly. In the seventh, New Athens loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate, but could not complete a comeback as Nashville held on for a 13-11 victory.
After the game, Hornettes coach Shaun Renth talked about the win. “We’ve got to do a better job of coming out and being ready to play. Credit the girls for fighting and coming back and showing heart. They played with a lot of heart today. It wasn’t easy. We didn’t make it easy on ourselves, but we did what we needed to do to get that win, and I can’t say enough about them coming back from 9-0. It’s huge.”
At the plate, Harris led the way, as she went 2-4 with a three-run home run that got the Hornettes back in the game. McFeron finished the game 3-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. Kasten finished with two hits, while both Burcham and Heck each had a hit and two RBIs. Heck’s two RBIs came on a HR, while Burcham hit a two RBI triple. Stanowski had the lone other RBI for Nashville. Liske had a hit and two runs scored in the win.
Guinzy started the game on the mound, and went just one inning. Harris came on in relief, and pitched the final six innings for Nashville.