The Litchfield Lady Panthers picked up their first win of the 2019 season on Tuesday, March 19, with a 10-6 victory in Taylorville.
The Lady Panthers cobbled together 12 hits and got a solid performance on the mound from Emily Senjan, who struck out 12 batters in the win.
Senjan also got the scoring started as she tripled to lead off the game then scored on a ground out off the bat of Mallory Beechler. Taylorville would answer though, getting three runs on three hits, despite three strikeouts in the inning by Senjan, one of which reached on a dropped third strike.
After a scoreless second, Senjan would come around to score again as she drew a one-out walk and eventually scored on a groundout by Lizzy Luttrell.
Taylorville would tack on an extra run in the bottom of the fourth after back-to-back-to-back hits as the Tornadoes led 4-2 at the game's midway point.
Litchfield's bats would begin to come alive in the fifth though as they scored three runs on three hits to take their first lead of the game. Daisy Adams led off the inning with a single, followed by Senjan picking up a single of her own.
Adams was erased on the base paths for the first out of the inning, but Mallory Beechler walked to give Litchfield two runners on with one out. Both Senjan and Beechler would come around to score in the next at-bat as Luttrell tripled to make it 4-4. Luttrell herself would score moments later and Litchfield led 5-4 going into the bottom of the inning.
Taylorville once again answered the Panthers' scores, getting two runs on two hits in the bottom of the inning to take another lead over the visitors.
But in the sixth inning, Litchfield made sure that there would be no coming back. The Panthers sent ten batters to the plate and scored five runs to put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth.
Kate Komor walked to start the inning, forcing a pitching change for Taylorville as Lauren Falica replaced Morgan Wright. Ashley Hickerson would then double to drive in Komor for the first of five runs in the inning.
After a walk to Senjan, Beechler singled to score Hickerson and Luttrell walked to load the bases. Carly Boden would plate Senjan and Beechler to make it 9-6 with only one out. Eventually Falica would get out of trouble, but not before Luttrell scored as Litchfield led by four going into the bottom of the sixth.
With the momentum of the scoring surge behind her, Senjan would not give up a hit in the final two innings, with Taylorville reaching base just twice on a walk and a hit batter. Litchfield would nearly tack on more runs in the top of the seventh, but settled for the four run victory in their second game of the season.
Luttrell would go 3-for-4 with three RBIs in the win, while Senjan, Beechler and Hickerson all had two hits apiece.
The victory helped the Panthers rebound from a tough loss to Southwestern on Monday, March 18, in Litchfield's season opener.
The host Piasa Birds scored three runs in the first, two runs in the second, two runs in the third, three runs in the fourth and two runs in the fifth to come away with a 12-2 win over the Panthers.
Litchfield's lone two runs came in the fifth inning as the Panthers tried to keep away from the mercy rule. Mallory Beechler singled with two outs in the fifth, then scored on a double by Carly Boden, her third hit of the day.
Boden would then score on a single by Lizzy Luttrell before Southwestern ended the inning with no further damage. Boden's run made it 10-2 in Southwestern's favor and the Piasa Birds would close out the win with two more runs in the fifth to invoke the ten-run mercy rule.
Boden and Luttrell (two hits) would have five of Litchfield's eight base knocks, with Senjan, Beechler and Bri Jeffers coming up with the other three hits.
On the mound, Senjan would give up 12 runs, nine earned on 11 hits, striking out five and walking two.
Southwestern's Bri Roloff had three hits, including two two-run home runs to lead the Birds.
Litchfield will be at home for the first time on Friday, March 22, as they host the Indians of Pawnee. On Saturday, the Lady Panthers head to Morrisonville, for an 11 a.m. tilt against the Mohawks.
March 18 at Piasa
Litchfield 000 02 - 2 8 3
Southwestern 322 32 - 12 11 0
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
L-Senjan 5 12 9 11 5 2
Southwestern IP R ER H K BB
W-Baumgartner 5 2 2 8 7 0
Multiple Hits: Litchfield - Carly Boden (3-3, 1R, 1RBI), Lizzy Luttrell (2-3, 1RBI); Southwestern Mayci Wilderman (3-3, 4R), Bri Roloff (3-3, 3R, 4RBI), Ashleigh Watts (2-3, 1R). 2B: Litchfield - Carly Boden 1; Southwestern - Bri Roloff 1. HR: Southwestern - Bri Roloff 2.
Records: Litchfield (0-1).
March 19 at Taylorville
Litchfield 101 035 0 - 10 12 3
Taylorville 300 120 0 - 6 7 4
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
W-Senjan 7 6 4 7 12 1
Taylorville IP R ER H K BB
L-Wright 5 6 4 6 5 3
Falica 2 4 2 6 1 4
Multiple Hits: Litchfield - Lizzy Luttrell (3-4, 2R, 3RBI), Emily Senjan (2-2, 4R), Mallory Beechler (2-4, 2R), Ashley Hickerson (2-4, 1R); Taylorville - Lexi Shull (3-4, 3RBI). 2B: Litchfield - Ashley Hickerson 1. 3B: Litchfield - Emily Senjan 1, Lizzy Luttrell 1.
Records: Litchfield (1-1); Taylorville (0-1).