Piasa Birds cruise by Cavaliers

By Daniel Winningham
Visiting Southwestern High School scored at least one run in each of the first six innings on its way to a 13-4 win over Carlinville High School at Loveless Park April 29.

The Piasa Birds led 1-0 after the first inning, 5-0 after two innings and 7-0 after three innings. Southwestern got a single run in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth inning to take an 11-1 lead. Carlinville got a single run in the fourth and responded with three runs of its own in the fifth frame to pull within 11-4.

Southwestern cranked out 12 hits while Carlinville committed six errors on defense.

“This was probably our worst game of the year,” CHS coach Quinn Steiner said. “Southwestern hit the ball well. However, we had six errors. We’d be (almost) out of an inning and they’d score two or three more. Southwestern’s a good team. They were picked to win conference this year. We knew they could hit pretty well. I thought defensively it was our worst game of the year … We started hitting well at the end, but it was right at people, so it was a little bit of playing horrible and getting unlucky.”

Steiner said giving the Piasa Birds extra outs proved costly.

“We came out flat, and started hanging our heads after a few errors,” Steiner said. “Southwestern’s too good a team to give more than three outs to.”

Carlinville is now 12-6 overall and 3-3 in the South Central Conference. Southwestern now has an 8-3 record and is unbeaten in conference play with a 4-0 record.

Carlinville’s fifth inning rally included three hits and two walks. With one-out and a runner on first, Carley Kulenkamp singled to left, Kristen Bates then walked to load the bases. Megan Stayton drove home two runs with a base hit to right field. Jade McFarland followed with a single to plate another run. A ground out ended the CHS inning.

Allison Wilfong pitched for the Piasa Birds and earned the win.
Southwestern’s Hannah Wilfong finished the contest with five hits in five at-bats, including a triple.

Kulenkamp and Alex Mullink both finished with two hits for the Cavaliers.

Baylee Hughes was the starting pitcher for CHS. She threw four innings before she was replaced by McFarland.

McFarland allowed just one ball to reach the outfield, though the Piasa Birds managed to tally three runs by having runners reach on errors or walks, then the base runners advanced on wild pitches or passed balls.

On one occasion, the runner at second attempted to advance to third on a ball that got past the catcher, Kulenkamp. Her throw got past third baseman Megan Stayton, allowing the runner to come around to score.

“Come on, let’s play some ‘D’ out there,” exclaimed assistant coach Bob Bell. “Give her some support out there.”

Busy week
Weather permitting, the varsity softball team has a busy schedule with six games in eight days.

Carlinville traveled to Vandalia April 30 for a reschedule conference game against the Vandals. Check out next week’s edition for coverage of the contest at Vandalia. CHS travels to East Alton-Wood River May 1, hosts Gillespie May 2 at 4:30 p.m., travels to Roxana May 3, goes to Litchfield May 6, and has a road contest at Hardin-Calhoun May 7.

CHS will take on Pana Thursday, May 9, for Senior Night. The game begins at 4:30 p.m.

Cavaliers storm past Staunton
The Cavaliers got plenty of offense to take down the Bulldogs 14-3 in a five-inning game April 26 at Staunton.

CHS pushed across two runs in the first inning, three more in the second frame and then erupted for eight runs in the third inning to go in front 13-2.

“We were hitting the ball up the middle, line drives,” Steiner said. “We were making double plays, fielding the ball well.”

Steiner said the victory over Staunton probably was the team’s “most complete game of the year.”
McFarland had three hits, drove in two runs and scored two runs.

Kulenkamp and Hughes both finished with two hits. Kulenkamp scored three runs while Mullin, drove in two runs.

McFarland allowed three hits to earn the win for CHS. She is now 5-2 on the season.