It was a tough end to the week for the Litchfield High School softball team as they fell to 0-8 with losses to Southwestern on May 13 and Greenville on May 15.
In Thursday’s home game against the Piasa Birds, the visitors jumped out to a big lead in the first and never looked back, eventually winning 13-1 in five innings.
Southwestern took control of the game with a five-run first, despite only getting one hit in the inning, a single by Megan Bailey. The Panthers’ Achilles’ heel would be walks as Litchfield starter Emma Walk issued six base on balls in the opening inning, with four of those batters coming around to score.
Litchfield would get their lone run in the first as well as Madison Brakenhoff singled, then moved to third on a double by Taylor Brakenhoff. Ashley Hickerson would put the ball in play and score the runner from third, making it a 5-1 ball game.
Unfortunately, Litchfield would get only one other hit off Southwestern starter Hannah Nixon, a two-out single by Cara Pence in the second, while the Piasa Birds added four runs in the second and two runs in both the third and fifth.
Nixon would finish with five strikeouts in the game, while Walch struck out one and only allowed two more walks in the next four innings.
Litchfield would try to keep pace with Greenville in Saturday’s game and were only outhit 7-6 by the Comets. Unfortunately, five errors resulted in four unearned runs as the Panthers fell to the Comets 10-0 in five innings.
The problem with Litchfield’s six hits is that only two came in back-to-back at-bats. In the third, Riley Heyen led off the inning with a single, then moved up a base when Bella Roach got a base hit of her own. The pair would move to second and third on stolen bases, but Greenville starter Kayla Sanders would get the next three batters on a fly ball to center and two strikeouts to end the threat.
Litchfield had two batters on in the fourth as well, when Bri Jeffers reached on an error and Annika Rhodes singled, but again Sanders was able to get out of trouble and end the inning with no runs scored.
The Comets’ runs would be spread through the fourth innings, with two in the first, one in the second, four in the third and three in the fourth to set up the 10-run mercy rule.
Heyen, who got the start for the Panthers, walked three and struck out one in addition to giving up the seven Greenville hits.
In addition to her fourth inning hit, Rhodes also had a second inning single to give her a two-hit day. The other LHS hits would come from Roach, Heyen, Lauren Monke and Taylor Brakenhoff, all of which were singles.
Litchfield will have a home-and-home series with Carlinville on May 17 and 18, with the Panthers traveling to Carlinville on Monday and welcoming the Cavaliers to town on Tuesday.
May 13 at Litchfield
Southwestern 542 02 13 9 0
Litchfield 100 00 1 3 3
S'western IP R ER H K BB
Nixon 5 1 1 3 5 1
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
Walch 5 13 9 9 1 8
Multiple Hits: Southwestern - Bouillon 2-2, Roloff 2-3, McDonald 2-3. 2B: Litchfield - Taylor Brakenhoff. 3B: Southwestern - Bri Roloff 1.
May 15 at Litchfield
Litchfield 000 00 0 6 5
Greenville 214 3x 10 7 2
Greenville IP R ER H K BB
Sanders 5 0 0 6 8 0
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
Heyen 4 10 6 7 1 3
*Heyen 4 HBP
Multiple Hits: Litchfield - Annika Rhodes 2-2; Greenville - Roberts 2-3, Jett 2-3. 2B: Greenville - Cripe-Deist 1. 3B: Greenville - Jett 1.
Record: Litchfield (0-8).