Libby Ahlers lays out to make a catch during the Hornettes walk-off win over Centralia on March 27.
By Brent Huelsmann
After starting the season a little slow, the Nashville Hornettes are on a roll. The Hornettes won six games this week, which pushed their win streak to nine games on the season. The Hornettes defeated Centralia, Carlyle, Carbondale, Mascoutah, and Freeburg this week before they started conference play on Monday night with a win on the road against Anna-Jonesboro.
The Hornettes began the week with a close 2-1 win over the Centralia Orphan Annies on March 27. Centralia took the early lead, as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Hornettes would come back to tie the game in the third, on an RBI from Mackenzie McFeron. The Hornettes would catch a break in the sixth inning, when the Orphan Annies had a runner on third base, and threatened to take the lead. Centralia would hit a deep fly ball, but the runner on third base left early, causing an out, and the score to stay tied at one.
The score would stay tied until the bottom of the seventh. Senior Alli Liske would double to start the inning, and come around to score on a walk-off single from McFeron.
After the game, McFeron talked about the final pitch sequence. “That first pitch obviously ball, then the second pitch was an outside strike, and I was looking for that inside, down the middle pitch and she gave it to me, so I turned on it.”
Coach Shaun Renth talked about winning a close game. “Grinded one out today. Chloe was pretty good on the mound, but credit our girls for battling the whole game, and Alli for getting that big double to lead off the inning and Mack getting that hit there up the middle to win the game.”
McFeron led Nashville at the plate, as she drove in both runs for the Hornettes, and finished 1-3. Jordan Stiegman, Brooke Burcham, and Alli Liske each had a hit in the win. In the circle, Kyleigh Guinzy went the distance as she game up just three hits, and one earned run in seven innings pitched.
The Hornettes were back in action on March 28, as they traveled to take on the Carlyle Lady Indians. The Hornettes would take the lead early, and pull away late, as they defeated Carlyle 9-3.
The Hornettes grabbed the lead in the third, when McFeron doubled and later scored on a single by Stiegman. In the fourth, the Hornettes extended their lead, as the bottom of the order got a rally started. Sophie Heck, Jenna Harris, and Libby Ahlers each scored a run in the inning, as Heck led the inning off with a double, followed by a single by Harris, and Ahlers reached base via an error. As the teams headed to the bottom of the inning, the Hornettes led Carlyle 4-0.
Carlyle would add a run in the bottom of the fourth, but the Hornettes got the run, right back as Burcham was hit by a pitch, and came around to score on a double by Liske. After Carlyle scored in the sixth, the Hornettes put the game away with four runs in the top of the seventh. Carlyle would try to rally, but came up short as Burcham made a nice double play in right field and the Hornettes took a 9-3 win.
Renth was pleased with his team’s play after the game.“Big win, girls came out and played pretty well today. We didn’t make too many errors, and hit the ball real well, kind of laid off her pitches and hit ours. We did a good job, Jenna threw the ball well, and we hit up and down the lineup.”
McFeron led the way at the plate again as she finished 4-5 with two runs, a RBI, a double, and two stolen bases. Karly Stanowski had two RBIs in the win, a double and two walks. Paige Kasten, Stiegman, and Liske each finished with a hit and a RBI. Burcham and Harris had two hits in the game, while Ahlers finished with a hit and a run scored. Olivia Cook crossed the plate for two runs, while Joey Lane finished with one run.
Harris went the distance in the circle, as she scattered seven hits over seven innings. Harris gave up three runs, only one of which was earned, and struck out three in the win.
The Hornettes won their second straight road game, as they defeated Carbondale 11-3 on March 30. Carbondale got off to a quick start in the first inning, as they broke out for two runs. The lead would not last long, as the Hornettes scored four runs in the top of the second inning. Burcham would double to lead off the inning, before Liske crushed a two run home run to tie the game. Heck would walk, and later score on a single by McFeron, and McFeron would come around to score on a single by Kasten.
The Hornettes would add a run in the third, and put the game away with five runs in the fifth, the big blast coming off of the bat of Stanowski. Stanowski blasted a three run home run to cap off the five run inning. The Hornettes would add a run in the seventh, and went on to an 11-3 victory.
Stanowski and McFeron each led the way offensively in the game. Stanowski went 2-5 with a homerun and three RBIs, while McFeron finished the game 3-5 with three RBIs, three runs scored, and three stolen bases. Liske finished 2-4 in the win with two rbis and a home run. Kasten also had two RBIs to go along with two hits, a run scored, and a stolen base. Harris had the lone other RBI for Nashville. Burcham and Heck each had a hit in the win. Guinzy pitched all seven innings in the circle, as she gave up just two earned runs and struck out four.
The Hornettes began April with a doubleheader at home against Freeburg and Mascoutah. The Hornettes first game was an 11-1 win over the Lady Indians of Mascoutah in five innings.
Nashville scored early and often as the Hornettes put up three runs in the first, and four runs in the second. Mascoutah would score their lone run of the game in the second inning. The Hornettes would score four runs in the fifth, to take the 11-1 victory over the Lady Indians.
The offensive outburst came from up and down the lineup, as every Nashville starter finished with a hit in the game. McFeron and Liske each finished with three hits in the win. McFeron went 3-4 with two runs scored, two RBIs, a triple, and two stolen bases. Liske went 3-3 with two runs scored and a RBI. Heck finished with two hits and two RBIs. Ahlers finished with two RBIs on one hit, while Burcham, Stanowski, Kasten each had a RBI in the win. Harris had two hits, while Stiegman notched one hit in the win. Harris pitched a complete game, as she gave up one earned run on three hits, in five innings.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Hornettes defeated Freeburg 10-0 in six innings. The Hornettes scored in the first, and that was all Guinzy would need in the circle. Guinzy pitched a three hit shutout, and struck out three.
The Hornettes put the game away with seven runs in the third. Nashville had just three hits in the inning, but drew six walks in the inning. McFeron, Kasten, Stanowski, Liske, Heck, Stiegman, and Ahlers all scored a run for Nashville in the inning. The Hornettes would add a run in the fourth, and a run in the sixth, as they cruised to a 10-0 victory.
Liske led the way with two hits, two RBis, a double, a walk, and a run scored. Stanowski and Ahlers each had two RBIs on one hit, while Harris, Burcham and Kasten each drove in a run. McFeron was active on the basepaths, as she finished with five stolen bases to go along with two hits, two runs, and two walks.
The Hornettes began conference play on Monday night with a 9-5 win over Anna-Jonesboro. Nashville got things started in the first with two runs, as they took advantage of an error to begin the ball game. Stanowski would single home one run, while Burcham doubled home the other. In the second, the Hornettes added to their lead, as they put up another three runs. Stiegman, McFeron, and Ahlers all singled and scored in the inning.
In the fourth inning, Nashville got another run, as McFeron hit her first homerun of the season. The Hornettes would add another run in the sixth, and two more in the seventh after Anna-Jonesboro scored four in the sixth to put the game away.
McFeron scored a run on her first three times on base as she finished 2-4 with a RBI, three runs scored, and a home run to go along with two stolen bases. Stanowski had a team-high three hits to go along with a RBI. Stiegman had two hits, a run scored, and a RBI, while Ahlers had two RBIs for Nashville. Kasten, Burcham, and Heck each had a hit and a RBI. Joey Lane scored two runs in the win.
Harris pitched the first six innings as she spread around seven hits, and gave up just four runs, only two of which were earned. Harris struck out seven batters. Guinzy pitched the final inning, as she gave up one earned run and struck out one batter.
The Hornettes record on the season is 10-4.