Collinsville's bats come up big in season-opening win over visiting Mascoutah
March 15, 2013Collinsville High School
COLLINSVILLE • What Thursday's Mascoutah-Collinsville softball game lacked in dazzling defense or dominating pitching, it made up for in offense.
With the teams combining for 27 hits, host Collinsville posted a 14-8 victory in the season opener for both teams. The Kahoks had 17 of those hits, including four by freshman left fielder Becky Gibbs, who also reached base on an error.
"I had butterflies in my stomach when I found out I was starting," Gibbs said. "It felt great to get a couple hits right away.
"I've been working on this ever since I was playing 8-U and I watched the big girls come out here. Now it's crazy because I'm actually out here."
Collinsville coach Cindy Kolda wasn't suprised by the high score.
"We have a lot of things to work on defensively, but the hitters did a good job up and down the lineup," Kolda said. "There was a time today when seven of the nine players on the field were either freshmen or sophomores. We've got a couple games this weekend and that should help the pitchers and catchers get in sync with each other."
Mascoutah, meanwhile, found itself in a four-run hole after one inning and never completely recovered.
"The advantage is always to the offense early in the season," Indians coach Frank Evans said. "You get trapped inside and can't work in the dirt and all you can do is swing the bat, and their bats were a little better than ours today."
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning off Collinsville starter Jessica Ledford. Kennedy Bryant drew a one-out walk and scored when a double by Allison Schanz got past center fielder Kadie Ringering.
Collinsville answered with five runs in the bottom of the first off Mascoutah starter Madeleine Nekola. Leadoff batter Ledford hit a pop double down the left-field line and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Ringering. Alex Holten followed with an RBI single up the middle and stole second base after nearly being caught in a rundown.
Sam Buettner got an RBI double when left fielder Kathryn Perkins lost the ball in the sun, and Sarah Scrum's high-hop single over shortstop Alessia Amici made the score 3-1. Gibbs got an RBI triple to right field and scored on a single down the left field line by Alli Buehne.
Mascoutah cut Collinsville's lead to 5-4 in the top of second. With the bases loaded and two outs, Bryant delivered a three-run double to center field.
The Indians' momentum didn't last for long, as Collinsville got three more runs in the bottom of the inning. After a two-out single by Buettner, courtesy runner Audrey Allard scored on a single to right-center by Scrum. With the bases loaded, Amici dropped a pop-up by Caitlyn Brombolich after bumping into Perkins, and Scrum and Gibbs both crossed the plate.
Collinsville added one run in the third and Mascoutah scored once in the fourth off new pitcher Sydney Bost. Collinsville extended its lead to 11-5 in the bottom of the fourth on a run-scoring groundout by Sam Stephens and an RBI single by Ringering.
"Anytime you get a 'W,' you can't get upset," Kolda said. "Alex Holten had a good day at the plate and Sarah Scrum and Sam Buettner hit the ball hard all day. I saw some kids talking more than they did in the past, so maybe some of that leadership is going to peek out a little bit."
In the fifth, Mascoutah pulled within 11-8 on a bases-loaded triple by Ryanne Sirtak, but the Indians wouldn't get any closer, as Collinsville scored once in the bottom of the inning and twice in the sixth.
"We had eight runs and 10 hits, which I was happy about, but I told the girls they need to work on their defense and not give away too many outs," Evans said. "We gave several away today, but with three freshmen in the lineup, that makes a big difference. Southwestern Conference teams always hit the ball well, but I thought our pitchers did a good job of not walking too many people."
Like Mascoutah, Collinsville made four errors.
"That gives us a lot of room to improve," Kolda said. "We were out of position a couple times today, so hopefully we can get that figured out in our next games."