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Hornettes Split Two Contests

Jenna Harris pitches during the Hornettes win over Johnston City on March 22.
By Brent Huelsmann
Rain also has been wreaking havoc on the NCHS Hornette softball team this season, but Nashville managed to get two games in the week, but also had a few games rained out. Like the baseball team, the Hornettes had their March 19 contest against Trico cancelled. Nashville also cancelled their game against Salem on March 23 and Centralia on March 27. The Hornettes did get a game in against Johnston City on March 22, as well as a game against New Athens on March 26. Nashville defeated Johnston City 9-4, but suffered their first loss of the season to New Athens 14-4. The Hornettes currently have a record of 4-1.
The Hornettes picked up a hard-fought 9-4 win against Johnston City on March 22. A close game saw the two teams even after three innings of play, but the Hornettes scored six straight runs in the middle innings to take control and get the win.
The teams traded runs in the first, but Johnston City grabbed the lead with two runs in the second. Nashville would come back for two runs of their own in the third and take the lead for good in the fourth.
In the fourth, Brooke Burcham got the Hornettes offense started with a single. Burcham would move to second on a passed ball, and would come around to score on a single by Jenna Harris. Harris would score on a RBI single from Mackenzie McFeron, and McFeron would come around to score on a single by Paige Kasten to give the Hornettes a 6-3 advantage.
Nashville would get three more runs in the sixth inning as Libby Ahlers would single with one out. Ahlers would then steal second, before coming around to score on a single by Kasten. Kasten would then score on a two-run home run by Karly Stanowski to give the Hornettes a 9-3 lead.
Johnston City would score a run in the seventh, but Nashville closed out the win 9-4.
After the game, Hornettes coach Shaun Renth talked about the win, which was the Hornettes first time not short-gaming an opponent this season. “We just kind of grinded that one out. It was a grinded out win. We got a lot of timely hits, big hits at times. Paige was big for us had a couple big two or three hits today. Karly hits that bomb. I thought we had some decent at bats but I thought we gave a few away.”
Renth went on to talk about Harris’ performance in the circle. “Jenna battled. I don’t think she had her best stuff today, but she battled and minimized damage and that’s what we wanted, kept us in the game.” Harris pitched six innings, gave up three earned runs and struck out five batters. Kyleigh Guinzy pitched the final inning, and gave up one earned run, and struck out one batter.
Offensively, Kasten led the way with four hits, three runs scored, and three RBIs in the win. Stanowski finished the game 2-4 with two RBIs, both of which came on a two run home run in the sixth. Ahlers added two hits, one of which a double, and scored two runs for Nashville. McFeron and Harris each finished the game with one hit, one run, and a RBI in the win. Burcham finished 1-2 with a walk and a run scored, while Heck finished 1-4 with a double and a RBI.
Nashville suffered their first loss of the season on March 26 against New Athens, 14-4. A wet, chilly day in Nashville, the Hornettes worked hard to get the field in playing condition before the first pitch. The Hornettes had the early advantage, but a big fifth inning by New Athens lifted them to victory.
New Athens scored the first run of the game in the top of the first, but the lead was short-lived. The Hornettes came back for three runs in the bottom half of the frame, as Nashville took advantage of early miscues by New Athens. Kasten and Stanowski would get on base with one out, before Heck laced a double to score Nashville’s first two runs of the game. Burcham would come through with a sacrifice fly to score Heck and give the Hornettes a 3-1 advantage.
New Athens would get a run in the third to close the gap to one, and take the lead for good with two runs in the fourth. The floodgates opened in the fifth, as seven runs came across the plate for New Athens to give the Yellow Jackets control. After the teams traded runs in the sixth, New Athens scored two more in the seventh as they closed out a 14-4 win.
After the game, a disappointed Shaun Renth talked about learning from the loss. “It’s probably good for us. We needed that to show us what we need to work on. Show us that there are things to work on, that’s always good for us. You never like to lose, especially in that fashion, but you try to take some positives out of it and say hey we need to get better at this, we need to get better at that.”
In the circle, Guinzy started the game for Nashville. Guinzy pitched five innings, and while 11 runs were scored, only four of the runs were earned. Guinzy struck out two batters. Hayley Kuajaw pitched the final two innings and gave up three runs, two of which were earned.
Jordan Stiegman led Nashville offensively as she finished 3-3. Stiegman crushed a solo home run in the sixth inning of the loss. Heck finished 1-3 with her lone hit being a 2-RBI double in the first. Burcham had the lone other RBI on the day for Nashville as she finished 1-2 with a RBI. Kasten finished 1-4 with a run, while McFeron, Harris, Ahlers, and Josie Woodrome each added a hit. Olivia Cook scored a run in the loss.
The Hornettes are 4-1 on the season and are back in action on Wednesday March 28 against Carlyle, weather permitting.

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