CARBONDALE — The Carbondale softball team exploded for six first-inning runs, and Kaitlyn Anders tossed a strong complete game Friday as the Terriers topped Murphysboro, 7-2, in prep action.
Anders, a freshman, received plenty of early run support from her teammates and cruised through most of the contest, allowing just five hits.
“I feel like we’ve talked about needing to have more energy and enthusiasm, and they brought that today,” said Carbondale coach Kim Wheeler. “We had a really good practice on Thursday, and we’ve been working on communication. They executed the things we’ve been talking about today. And Murphysboro played well. We were just able to put it together in the first inning.”
Already leading 6-0 in the top of the third inning, Anders gave up a towering two-run homer to Emily Roberts, which made it 6-2. But outside of that, the Red Devils (9-17) weren’t able to do much against the Carbondale freshman.
“She is throwing what we need her to throw to defend,” Wheeler said. “She is gaining on that and learning. It’s tough to come in and pitch varsity as a freshman. She is learning that she can’t overpower them. She has to keep the ball down and change that speed.”
The Terriers weren’t exactly ripping the cover off the softball against Murphysboro hurler Kelsey Stanton in the opening frame. But Carbondale turned six singles, two walks, an error and a hit batter into six runs.
Regina Dedecker, who already reached base on an infield single to lead off the inning, hit a line drive to right field, which brought home two more runs on her second at-bat of the first frame.
Dedecker finished her day 3-for-3 with three RBIs for Carbondale, which improved to 11-10 overall.
“She has really worked hard for us,” Wheeler said of her leadoff hitter. “The growth that she’s had from last year to this year is really good. She is learning how to slap to our advantage. I’m very happy with the progression she has made.”
For good measure, Dedecker delivered a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning, which made it a 7-2 ball game. Kate Crombar contributed three hits with an RBI for Carbondale, and Ashton Hirst had a pair of hits with an RBI as well.
Gabby Brown paced the Murphysboro offense with two hits, including a double.