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Softball Vols Sweep SWIC

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE - The John A. Logan College softball team has now won seven straight games after sweeping a doubleheader from Southwestern Illinois Saturday, 4-1 and 8-2. It marked the opening of the Great Rivers Athletic Conference season for both teams.

In the opener, freshman righthander Heather Johnson limited the Blue Storm to one run on three hits. She struck out a season- and career-best 12 batters and walked three in notching her third win of the spring.

The Vols (7-3 overal) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning as freshman shortstop Jessica Hirsch of Du Quoin singled home Taylor Brackett, who had reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on a hit by Kirsten Price.

SWIC tied the game at 1-1 in the third on a solo homer by Jaclyn Elmore, but Logan responded with a run in the fourth on a delayed steal of home by Anna-Jonesboro’s Jayda Rendleman. The Vols added a run in the fifth on an RBI double by Ana Duda (Cobden) and in the sixth on an RBI double by Price, driving in Marissa Montgomery (Johnston City), who had also doubled.”

Logan head coach Bruce Jilek said Johnson set the tone by striking out so many SWIC batters with an overpowering fastball that had good movement and an occasional change.

“There were times when we really needed the strikeout and she was able to step up and get one,” he said.

Jilek said he was especially pleased with his team’s performance given the steadily dropping temperature and biting wind.

“For a first conference doubleheader, I thought things turned out alright for us. We played pretty well.”

In the nightcap, the Vols were more dominant, pounding out eight runs on nine hits. The big inning was the third when the home team put four runs on the scoreboard highlighted by a two-run triple from Hirsch. Logan added two runs in the fourth inning, one in the fifth and one in the sixth.

Taylor Price contributed two doubles to the cause. Hirsch chipped in another hit - a single. Kirsten Price had two singles and two runs scored. Kortney Crawford of Pinckneyville had a base hit and two runs scored. Duda also had a single as did Rendleman.

Winning pitcher was sophomore Sarah DaRosa of Carterville. The righthander scattered two runs on eight hits. She struck out nine and walked four.

“The pitching has been getting better,” Jilek said. “If it continues, we should be in pretty good shape. Offensively, we have hit the ball pretty well. Maybe all the time we’ve had to spend indoors seeing the ball has helped.”

The Vols play host to preseason favorite, Lake Land, Tuesday. The doubleheader gets under way at 2.