April 13, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

HARRISBURG – A lack of hitting in Game 1 combined with a lack of defense in Game 2 led to a doubleheader loss (5-2 and 14-8) for the John A. Logan College softball team Sunday afternoon at Southeastern Illinois.

The Volunteers fall to 11-9 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 18-13 overall. The Falcons improve to 7-15 in league play and 11-24 overall.

Picking up the loss in the opener was sophomore righthander Heather Johnson. The Cedar Hills, Tenn. native tossed six innings, allowed five runs on nine hits, struck out five, walked five and hit two. Rebecca Touchette earned the win for SIC. She held the Vols to two runs on only five hits. She also struck out eight and walked two.

Logan scored both of its runs in the second inning to take a brief 2-1 lead. Anna Mansfield doubled. Jessica Hirsch singled her to third and took second on the throw. Kaylyn Winders delivered a sacrifice fly to drive in Mansfield and advance Hirsch to third. Katie Hutchison grounded out to third to score Hirsch.

The Falcons moved ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the second with RBI hits from Jordan Shotton and Touchette sandwiched around an RBI groundout off the bat of Ashton Unthank.  SIC added an insurance run in the fourth on an RBI single by Katie Prizer.

Tiffany Gaimari led Logan with three hits in three at bats.

In Game 2, Logan freshman starter Corrine Wilson of Elkville was popped for four runs by the Falcons in the bottom of the first inning as Shotton, Touchette, Kaitlyn Kinne and Prizer all collected hits. SIC scored a fifth run in the second on an RBI single by Unthank.

Logan closed the gap to one at 5-4 in the third. Du Quoin native Kelsey Robinson started the rally with a solo homer to left. Taylor Price tripled. Gaimari doubled. Sara Kroeger then lined out to shortstop, which resulted in a double play. Johnson singled. Mansfield doubled her to third. Hirsch doubled both runners home.

SIC then put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth with seven runs on seven hits. Much of that could have been avoided, however, if for some better infield defense. Kailyn Wead reached on an infield single when Kroeger, the Vols’ first baseman, made a nice backhand play to her right, but had nobody to toss the ball to at first.

The next batter, Taylor Smith, reached on an error by Mansfield at second. Shotton then bunted for a single to load the bases and Wilson was unable to pitch out of the jam. The key hit of the inning was a two-run single by Marriah Hunt.

The Vols again tried to battle back in the fifth, scoring three runs highlighted by a bases-clearing double from Robinson. Wilson, who scored the third run on the play, seriously injured her ankle sliding into the catcher and had to be transported to Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Touchette was credited with the win in relief of Emily Van Ausdoll. Wilson took the loss. Robinson’s three hits paced Logan.

“Touchette didn’t throw the ball all that hard, maybe in the mid-50s, but she did a good job of keeping us off balance at the plate, especially in the first game,” said Logan head coach Bruce Jilek. “In the second game, we hit the ball much better. It was our defense, though, that hurt us. We’ve had a lot of problems this year getting the third out of the inning, either due to a mistake pitch or an error.”

The Vols host a doubleheader with Rend Lake today beginning at 2 and will play at Kaskaskia Tuesday.