By Mark Jurgena
It was an up and down week for the Collinsville softball squad with all four of their games ending with a mercy rule. They split games with MVC schools Mascoutah and Bethalto (Civic Memorial) and split a doubleheader with Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) as well.
Collinsville 14 Mascoutah 3
Two grand slams in the same inning.
Need I say more?
Brylee Anderton and Katie Bardwell both connected for bases-loaded home runs to center in the top of the 5th inning as Collinsville blew open a close game with a huge 13-run outburst to subdue the Indians in Mascoutah on March 17th.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that in my time coaching,” said CHS coach Jess Schmittling. “That was exciting for us. I think just that entire game we started out where we felt we were going to tack on runs. We came out and started to put pressure on and didn’t really put anything across. Then we opened it up in the 5th.”
Anderton had a huge day at the plate going 4-for-4 with four RBI. She added a double to her stat line as well.
“We’re using this idea of puzzle pieces and her piece of the puzzle is going to be to score our runners that get on base,” said Schmittling. “You’ve got to be putting the ball into play. You can’t be looking for walks, or hit by pitches. I think she’s really bought into the idea that she’s just going to go up there and take hacks and be aggressive about it.”
Brianna Wellen went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double. Lexi Rafalowski had two hits including a double and Mackenzie Young added a double with two RBI.
Bardwell had two hits and Maddie Harris had three.
Maya Clark and Marissa Thomas shared the pitching duties. They scattered five hits while giving up two earned runs and striking out four.
SHG 17 Collinsville 1
SHG scored six in the third inning and nine in the fourth to go up big on CHS in game one of a doubleheader on March 19th. The Cyclones were able to invoke the mercy rule after four innings of play at Collinsville.
“We had a little shaky defense to start the game and from there that seemed to spiral into our offense,” said Schmittling. “We did not make adjustments throughout the game offensively. So that led to them putting pressure on us and our defense crumbled. It was one of those games where we really didn’t have any of the pieces offensively or defensively. I think the score shows that.”
The Kahoks were able to gather four hits in game one.
Young and Allix Jakich had doubles while Rafalowski and Harris each singled.
Thomas, Harris, and Clark were in the circle for Collinsville.
“For us, I think the idea going into game two was how do we make adjustments and understand that at the bare minimum we have to have one to compete and we have to have both to be able to win and that’s what led us into game two,” commented Schmittling.
Collinsville 14 SHG 4
Making adjustments, passing the bat, giving up big innings, having a huge inning… all of that came into play for the Kahoks in game two.
SHG jumped out to a big 3-0 lead after one inning of play and it looked to be a repeat of game one, but the Kahoks weren’t having it as they broke open a close game with an 11-run outburst in the bottom of the 3rd and coasted to a 14-4 win in 5 innings.
“Coming out of game one we wanted to bounce back,” said Schmittling. “We knew we had to put up some runs offensively to feel a little bit of that cushion and we just kept pushing runs across and they really started buying into the idea of passing the bat. Once we did that, it led to that bigger inning.”
In that 3rd inning, CHS used almost every means possible to pass the bat to the next hitter. Short of a home run or reaching on some type of error, they used every means possible to get on base in the inning.
The Kahoks banged out nine hits during the frame including four doubles and two triples. They walked twice and were hit by two pitches.
“Our idea of pass the bat is to do anything to get the job done, to have the next batter up,” said Schmittling. “Just continue to keep the inning going. The more the girls think about how do I get the job done as an individual overall helps the team in the grand scheme of the inning.”
Collinsville finished with 13 hits in game two. Anderton had a pair of triples and a double with three RBI. Wellen added a pair of doubles with three RBI while Clark had a double, a triple, and two RBI.
Young had three hits, a double, and two RBI while Jakich had a double and two RBI.
Rafalowski collected two singles.
Clark and Thomas shared duties in the circle combining to strike out seven while walking only one. The duo scattered nine hits during the contest.
CM 14 Collinsville 4
Monday night the Kahoks traveled to Bethalto and fell to the Eagles in 5 innings.
CHS committed six errors in the contest which led them to fall behind 12-3 after three innings.
Jakich and Anderton both blasted solo home runs for Collinsville. Jakich went 2-for-2 on the day, while Clark and Thomas added singles.
Jakich had two RBI while Clark and Anderton had the others.
Thomas took the loss in the circle for CHS. Of the seven runs she gave up during her time, only one of those was earned.