Hillsboro hands CHS softball its first home loss

Hillsboro hands CHS softball its first home loss

By Daniel Winningham
Carlinville High School’s varsity softball team came up on the short end of a 5-3 contest against Hillsboro April 8 at Loveless Park.

After a single run in the top of the first frame, Hillsboro tallied two runs in both the third and fifth innings to take a 5-1 lead. CHS got single tallies in the first, fifth and seventh innings.

CHS head softball coach Quinn Steiner assessed his team’s play after the home defeat, which left CHS with an 8-3 overall mark and 2-1 record in the South Central Conference.

“We didn’t hit the ball well,” Steiner said. “Our problem all year has been, we don’t come out strong, and then we get stronger in the end, this time we just ran out of time. I’m proud of the way they played because Hillsboro is a really good team

Despite getting the loss, Steiner said pitcher Baylee Hughes did a nice job against the Hiltoppers.

“I thought Baylee threw a pretty good game against a good-hitting team,” Steiner said.

The Hiltoppers led 1-0 after a half inning but if felt like CHS could have been trailing by much more.

Hillsboro loaded the bases in the top of the first inning and took the early 1-0 advantage on a sacrifice fly to center. Kristen Bates made a diving catch on a low liner and quickly bounced up to show the umpire she had snared the batted ball in her glove for a nifty snow-cone catch, though there was no chance to throw out the lead runner who scored from third base after tagging up.

The next batter sent a sharp line-drive to short which was caught by Ashley Starr. With two outs and runners on first and second, the Hillsboro hitter lined out to left field.

“Defensively, I couldn’t ask for much more,” Steiner said.

CHS tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the first. With Bates on second, Kulenkamp swung through a third strike but advanced on a wild pitch. Bates, who was stealing third on the pitch, ran all the way home when the catcher tried to gun down Kulenkamp at first base. Megan Stayton was hit by the pitch, placing runners on first and second but the scoring threat for the home team came to an end when Jade McFarland struck out.

Hillsboro took the lead for good in the top of the third frame.

On a 3-2 count, Hughes walked the leadoff hitter, then hit the next batter. The following hitter sent a grounder to short which Starr got to but was unable to make a throw, loading the bases. A wild pitch scored a run and the remaining base runners moved up to second and third. With one out, the next batter sent a grounder to short. Starr quickly threw to first for the second and then Brooke Jamieson threw to third baseman Jade McFarland for a 6-3-5 double play. In the process, the runner from third safely scored ahead of the final out, making it 3-1.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Hughes crushed a double over the leftfielder’s head to drive in a run and get CHS within 5-3. However, the comeback attempt fizzled out one batter later.

Bates contributed three hits in four at-bats and scored two runs.

Hughes added two hits. Both Bates and Hughes had a double in the two-run loss.

Hillsboro improved to 2-2 with the road victory and is now 2-0 in the conference.

Cavaliers demolish Lancers, 15-6
CHS got multiple runs in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings on its way to a 15-6 drubbing of Raymond Lincolnwood April 6 at Loveless Park.

Hughes scored three runs and had three RBI while Alex Mullink scored twice and also contributed three RBI.

The Cavaliers got two in the bottom of the first, led 6-4 after getting three runs in the fourth inning, then went on top 12-4 as it tallied six runs in the bottom of the fourth. Starr, Hughes, Mullink and Maddie Jenkins each had two hits for CHS.

Carlinville uses extra innings to get by Comets
Zombies would have been an apt description for the CHS softball team as it never held a lead in the contest until Kulenkamp delivered a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth inning. But no matter the amount of the deficit, the Cavaliers continued battling back.

Carlinville scored in seven of the game’s eight innings in rallying past Greenville High School 11-10 April 5 at Loveless Park.

Greenville was unable to make leads of 1-0, 4-1, 7-2, 9-7 and 10-9 hold up in the eight-inning South Central Conference contest. The Comets, who scored a game-high three runs in the top of the second, pushed across runs in every frame except the fifth and seventh.

Kulenkamp finished the contest 4-6 with three doubles, two RBI and scored two runs. Hughes also had four hits. Jenkins contributed three hits and scored twice. McFarland and Alex Mullink both had two hits and scored two runs. Starr and Ariel Dowh also had two hits for the home team.

CHS out-hit Greenville 20-10 in the one-run win.

Cavaliers beat Miners in extra innings
Carlinville got four runs in the top of the eighth inning to win at Gillespie April 4.

The Cavaliers cranked out 13 hits in the conference victory, and got the go-ahead runs after the Miners rallied from a 7-4 deficit in the sixth inning to tie the game.

Stayton, who finished with two hits in five at-bats, contributed a two-run homer in the win.

Also contributing two hits in the game for CHS were Starr, Bates, Hughes, McFarland and Mullink.

Ellen Gray was 2-5 for the Miners.

McFarland was the winning pitching for the Cavaliers, improving to 2-1 on the season.

Minutemaids rally past Cavaliers
CHS was in front 6-3 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning but couldn’t hold the lead as the Minutemaids got a grand slam to go on top 7-6.

The Cavaliers were unable to score in the top of the seventh and dropped the non-conference road contest to Bunker Hill.

Jersey hands CHS its first loss
Carlinville sustained its first defeat of the 2013 season as it fell to the Panthers in extra innings April 2.

Home vs. Brussels April 11
Carlinville traveled to North Mac April 9 for a non-conference game. The Cavaliers host Brussels Thursday, April 11, in a rescheduled contest from earlier in the year. The squad also travels to Concord for the three-team Triopia Cluster Saturday, April 13.