CARBONDALE — On a cold and windy day, Pinckneyville tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh and defeated Carbondale, 6-1, in prep softball.
Although Mariah Clark struggled with her command in the early innings, which led to Carbondale having multiple runners on base in each of the first four frames, the Terriers weren’t able to hit her very hard at all.
“They hit one ball hard out to the wall on a changeup, but other than that, they’d didn’t square anything up,” said Pinckneyville coach Alan Engelhardt. “She wore out the inside corner, and that could not have felt good on a day like today.”
Carbondale certainly had its chances in the first four innings, but Clark got herself out of trouble each time, despite walking four batters. The Pinckneyville senior gave up just one run and allowed six hits to go along with nine strikeouts.
“I know she walked some kids, but it wasn’t a real big zone today, and sometimes you get that,” Engelhardt said. “She found a way to work around it, and she had stuff moving today, which means she was tough. This was her first back-to-back of the season after throwing her Thursday, so for her to shut down a quality lineup like that is a big thing.”
Madison Galloway went the distance and pitched pretty well for Carbondale against a very good Pinckneyville batting order. The Carbondale sophomore gave up just three runs through the first six innings and only one of those was earned.
“That was probably one of the best games I’ve seen her pitch other than that last inning,” said Carbondale coach Kim Wheeler. “She was the strongest when she was mixing up her pitches and keeping them off balance.”
After a double from Taylor Witges, Josie Gleason belted an RBI double to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Carbondale committed back-to-back errors in the second inning, and Pinckneyville made it a 2-0 ball game.
Another error in the third inning hurt the Terriers as well. Gleason made Carbondale pay for it with a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.
“I’m not happy with some of the defensive stuff because we’re better than that,” Wheeler said. “The mistakes that we made early defensively, that’s not us. Typically, we’re going to make those plays.”
The Terriers reached the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning when Regina Dedecker drove in a run on a ground out to make it a 3-1 contest.
The Panthers struck back in the top of the seventh inning. Witges and Clark led off the inning with singles, and Gleason produced a run-scoring double. Emma Banach hit a sacrifice fly to give Pinckneyville some breathing room.
Pinckneyville improved to 7-2, and Carbondale fell to 2-2.