CARTERVILLE — The Nashville and Carterville softball teams have engaged in some great and very close battles over the years.
But that wasn’t the case on Thursday afternoon.
Jenna Harris tossed a complete game and drove in three runs to help the Hornettes defeat the Lions, 12-2, in six innings in SIRR Mississippi Division action.
Nashville (8-2, 1-0) plated six runs in the fifth inning to break the game open.
“Our one through nine is pretty salty,” said Nashville coach Shaun Renth. “We kept putting the pressure on them and finally broke through in the fifth inning. It was just a huge hit by Paige (Kasten) to get those last two runs in. This was a nice win for us today.”
Marley Grady relieved starting pitcher Tomi Boggess in the top of the fourth inning with Carterville trailing 4-2. Grady escaped trouble with multiple runners on base in that frame, but Nashville batted around in the fifth.
Mackenzie McFeron and Kasten each delivered RBI singles. Sophie Heck did the same for the Hornettes, who claimed a commanding 10-2 advantage.
Meanwhile, with the exception of a towering two-run bomb given up to Montana Taylor, Harris was very good in the pitching circle.
“Jenna did a really good job for us,” Renth said. “I was really impressed with what she did on the mound for us today.”
Grady wasn’t able to make it out of the fifth inning. Boggess returned to the circle and pitched the rest of the way.
“We knew coming into the game that there are no holes in their lineup,” said Carterville coach Will Capie. “They’ve got two speed kids at the top of the lineup, and we could not get them out. Even when Avery (English) was here, we had trouble getting them out.”
Both Grady (freshman) and Boggess (sophomore) are underclassmen. Capie is hoping to see improvement as the season goes along. The Lions fell to 4-3 and 0-2.
“Tomi threw some quality pitches,” Capie said. “I thought both girls made some quality pitches. But when are you in a high stakes game like this, you have to learn to pitch out of those things. That’s part of the growing process. We knew coming into this season that our pitching was going to be a work in progress, and we’ve seen them take steps toward that.”
Five different Hornettes drove in runs during this contest, and the squad combined for 15 hits.
“We treat (Carterville) just like we always would,” Renth said. “It’s nice to come down here and 10-run them. Will does a real good job with them, and I’m positive he’s going to have them up and ready for us the next time we play them.”