Gillespie Lady Indians win first annual middle school softball tournament

Gillespie Lady Indians win first annual middle school

The Gillespie Lady Indians hoist the championship trophy after winning first place at their inaugural softball tournament. Enquirer Democrat Photo by Jackson Wilson.

By JACKSON WILSON

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

The Gillespie Lady Indians made sure that their opponents were well aware of whose field they were playing on throughout a dominant Saturday of softball. Behind the stellar pitching of Emma Gipson and a high-powered offensive attack, Gillespie took home championship hardware by winning first place at their inaugural softball tournament.

“We’ve got a lot of season left to go but watching these girls on a long day, working through it and doing what they needed to do to best benefit each other – this was a great start,” said Gillespie head coach Michelle Smith.

Macoupin County was also well represented by the Carlinville Junior Cavaliers, who finished third out of six teams.

Both squads came out of the gates on a tear against Bunker Hill. The Cavies hung a 10-spot in the top half of the first and rode that massive wave to a 19-0 blowout. The Indians were just as impressive and used small ball to put up 15 tallies on six hits in a shutout statement of their own.

The Cavies kept it close against the Indians in the second game, but were unable to weather the storm against Gipson in a 3-0 defeat. The Gillespie hurler went the distance, striking out 12 Carlinville batters.

All three Indian runs came in the opening frame against Kendal Maddox. Bella Segarra and Ava Parish initiated the scoring for Gillespie with back-to-back RBI doubles. Hannah Gibson then took over for the Cavies on the hill and tossed three scoreless innings in relief.

The final game was a breeze for the Indians, who blew past the Lady Knights of Triad 11-3 to take the title. On the other hand, the Cavies needed to battle Calhoun for third.

Carlinville drew first blood with a run in the second, but lost the lead when two Lady Warriors crossed the plate in the top half of the third. The Cavies threw a counterpunch in the fourth, but a Calhoun triple evened the seesaw at 3-3. Finally, in the bottom of the sixth, Olivia Kunz sealed the deal for Carlinville with her second hit in three at-bats –  a walk-off base knock into right field.

The 2019 Indians are Gipson, B. Segarra, Parish, Erika Gill, Mia Brawner, Ava Segarra, Macie Wright, Lauren Bertagnoli, Sophia Lewis, Hailey Young, Wrigley Releford, Paxton Reid, Delaney Taylor, Ava Rakers, Addison Cox, Lexi Schardan and Ceanna Colbert. Smith is assisted by Kekie Reinhart, Jim Matesa and Beth Fields.

Gillespie (3-0) is scheduled to play in another tournament this weekend in Alton. Action begins at 4:15 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.