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Hornettes Finish Conference Play

Jenna Harris delivers a pitch during the Hornettes loss to Pinckneyville on April 20.

By Brent Huelsmann

After giving Carterville their first conference loss of the season on April 18, the Nashville Hornettes, dropped their final two conference games of the season to Pinckneyville and DuQuoin this past week. Nashville finished with a 5-5 record in conference play. The Nashville Invitational Tournament, which was supposed to be played on Saturday April 22, was canceled due to weather and will not be made up.

The Hornettes began the week with a huge 5-2 win on the road over the Carterville Lady Lions. Carterville entered the game with a perfect conference record.

Carterville got the scoring started in the first inning, and took a 1-0 lead over the Hornettes. The lead would not last long, as Nashville scored the next three runs of the game. The Hornettes would tie the game with a run in the second as Alli Liske led off the inning with a home run.

The Hornettes would not be done scoring as they took the lead for good in the third inning. With two outs in the inning, Mackenzie McFeron singled, stole second base, and scored on a single from Paige Kasten.

The score would stay the same til the fifth, when the Hornettes added on again as Libby Ahlers came around to score in the frame.

After Carterville cut the Hornettes lead to 3-2 in the sixth, the Hornettes bounced back with two runs of their own in the seventh. Sophie Heck doubled to lead off the inning, and would come around to score on a single by Ahlers. Ahlers would also score in the inning on a sacrifice by Kasten.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Lady Lions could not get anything going as the Hornettes set them down in order.

Nashville got a great effort in the circle by Jenna Harris. Harris pitched a complete game against the defending Class 2A State Champions and gave up just two runs on four hits.

At the plate, Liske continued her great season, with another home run. Kasten was the only Hornettes player with more than one hit, as she finished 2-3 with two RBIs in the win. Ahlers finished with a RBI and two runs scored for Nashville while both McFeron and Heck each scored a run, and had a hit. Harris also notched a hit in the win.

The Hornettes were back in action on April 20 as they took on the Lady Panthers of Pinckneyville. Nashville could not get anything going offensively in the contest, as Pinckneyville took the game 15-0 in five innings.

The Hornettes fell behind early and could not stop the Lady Panthers throughout the game. Pinckneyville scored in every inning. The Lady Panthers put up two runs in the first, one in the second, one in the third, five in the fourth and six in the fifth to go on to cruise to victory.

After the game, coach Shaun Renth talked about the loss. “That’s softball, you look really good one day, and really bad the next day. We always tell them, if you have a tough loss like this you can always come out and play tomorrow. We just didn’t make plays, same story as we had the last time, we just didn’t make plays. We just got to be ready to go. We just weren’t ready to play today, and they hit the ball, and we know that’s not the kind of pitchers we have, we’re not going to strike out nine or ten a game, they’re going to put the ball in play and we have to be ready to go every time.”

The Hornettes managed just five hits in the game. McFeron finished the game 1-3 and stole three bags in the loss. Karly Stanowski, Jordan Stiegman, Brooke Burcham, and Libby Ahlers all recorded a hit for the Hornettes.

The Hornettes pitchers just gave up two earned runs in the game, as Nashville committed six errors in the loss. Harris pitched the first four innings, and gave up nine runs, but just two of the runs were earned. Harris struck out four in the loss. Guinzy got the final three outs, and gave up six runs, but none of the runs were earned.

Nashville ended the conference slate with a 5-2 loss to DuQuoin on April 24. Nashville was able to grab an early lead, but DuQuoin took the lead in the middle innings, and held on late for the victory.

The Hornettes got the scoring started in the first, as McFeron singled to lead off the game, McFeron would steal second and third, and later would score in the inning.

The Hornettes would hold the lead until the third inning, when the Lady Indians would rattle off four straight hits and score three runs. DuQuoin would add to their lead in the fourth with two more runs, as three of the first four batters in the inning would reach base.

Nashville would make a run in the sixth inning, but could not make a full comeback, as the Hornettes fell 5-2.

McFeron finished with three hits in the loss, three stolen bases, and scored the only two runs for Nashville. Stanowski finished with the lone RBI for the Hornettes and had one hit. Liske and Heck each added a hit in the loss, while Burcham finished with a walk.

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