Alli Liske looks to make contact during the Hornettes season ending loss to Pinckneyville in the Sectional Semi=Finals on May 23.
By Brent Huelsmann
An up and down season for the Nashville Hornettes softball team came to an end this past week with a 12-6 loss to the Pinckneyville Panthers in the IHSA Class 2A Harrisburg Sectional Semi-Finals. The Hornettes finished the season with a record of 22-14.
Nashville got a runner on third with just one out in the top of the first, but could not take advantage, and left Mackenzie McFeron stranded at third. Pinckneyville quickly took advantage in the game, as they quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Pinckneyville’s #18, #15, and #24 hit back to back to back home runs in the first to jump out to a lead. #18 hit a three run shot to get the scoring started before #15, and #24 followed up with solo shots. #17 added a RBI single to push the sixth run across the plate.
Pinckneyville continued to hold a 6-0 lead until the third inning when the Hornettes scratched across their first run of the game. Libby Ahlers walked, and moved to second on a single by McFeron. Karly Stanowski would drive in Ahlers with a RBI single to cut the Pinckneyville lead to 6-1.
In the fourth, the Hornettes bats came alive, as Nashville picked up four more runs and cut the deficit to just one run. The Hornettes scored all their runs with two outs in the inning. Alli Liske walked to start the rally, and moved to second on a single by Jenna Harris. Both runners would move up on a wild pitch, before Ahlers stepped up to the plate and drove them both home with a triple. Ahlers would come around to score on an error, and Paige Kasten would single home McFeron to cap off the Hornettes rally.
Pinckneyville would quickly strike back, as #11 drove in two runs with a two out single to extend the Lady Panther’s lead back to three. Pinckneyville would continue to add on in the fifth, as three more runs crossed the plate. Pinckneyville would add another run in the sixth to take a 12-5 lead going into the seventh inning.
In the seventh, the Hornettes would attempt a rally, but would fall short. Nashville would get one run on a triple from Sophie Heck, but could not make the comeback as Pinckneyville took the game 12-6.
After the game, Hornettes coach Shaun Renth was proud of his team. “I talked to the girls and just told them, I’m proud of the way they battled this time. The difference between this game and last time, we could have folded up shop, could have tucked it in after we were down six to nothing, and we battled back and had the tying runs up to the plate, go ahead runs up to the plate. They just kept battling all day, it was a lot better than the first two times against them. They’re just a good team. They hit the ball today, and the thing was today, we didn’t beat ourselves. We had a few errors, but it wasn’t where it just kept going downhill, downhill, downhill. We battled back and we gave ourselves a chance. That’s all you can ask for. I’m just proud of the way we fought back today.”
Renth went on to talk about Alli Liske, Nashville’s lone senior on the season. “Four years that she was with the program, you can’t say enough about that. The time and effort that she put into the program. We appreciate everything that she has done for the program. It’s never easy for a senior to leave a program. We are just fortunate for her to be a part of this program and we wish her nothing but the best in her future at McKendree.”
The Hornettes finished the season with a record of 22-14.