Eastern strings together hits, drops Lady Eagles
Visiting Eastern (Pekin) collected hits in consecutive fashion Monday, leading to a 5-3 victory over Class A No. 7 Lanesville.
‘We couldn’t string hits together, but credit Eastern; they put their hits together,’ Lanesville coach Rusty Cecil said. ‘They out-hit us the last part of the game.’
Opportunities were there for the Lady Eagles through much of the game. Despite a scoreless first three innings from both squads, Lanesville had the better opportunities in that early going.
In the second inning, Jessica DeWeese and Mackenzie Schmelz sandwiched walks around a Robyn Schoen single to load the bases. Despite the two-out opportunity, Eastern came up with a punch-out to end the threat. Schoen would have a big day at the plate, going 3 for 3.
Putting a runner in scoring position presented itself early in the third for Lanesville as well. Katelyn Pavey reached on a single to right, then a well-placed sac bunt by Emma Zeller saw an aggressive running Pavey slide safely into third. Again, the runner was stranded when an infield pop out and a strikeout followed.
Nearly all of Eastern’s runs came in the fourth inning when the team was able to collect five hits with the first seven batters that came to the plate. Ryana Watson and Darcy Rogers led off the frame with singles before a sac bunt moved them up a base. Run-scoring singles led to a pair when capped by Megan Alexander’s smack to center. Two additional runs scored when Courtney Hoke hugged a double down the left-field corner.
Lanesville slowly chipped away at the deficit but couldn’t make it all the way back.
In the fourth inning, Regan Walker’s one-out walk led to a run. After taking second on a wild pitch, the run scored when Schoen hit a single. Schoen reached second on the throw home but was left there when Rogers struck out two straight.
Eastern got the run back in the top of the sixth with a Hoke RBI single.
Doing damage with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Lanesville tallied two runs. Similar to the fourth, Walker’s walk and a Schoen single started the spurt. Pinch hitter Laynie Collins delivered a single to plate one run. Following up with her first at-bat of the game, McKenzie Randolph hit a single to right, scoring Schoen. Randolph’s attempt to take second on the throw home was spoiled by being thrown out at second. The scoring cut the Lady Musketeer lead to 5-3.
‘I was proud to see our girls fight back,’ Cecil said. ‘It seemed we had runners on every inning but coming up with the big hits didn’t happen.’
Lanesville put two runners on in the seventh, a Pavey walk and Emma Zeller single, but Rogers retired three straight to end any threat.
‘Eastern is a better team than their record indicates,’ Cecil said. ‘They’ve played a lot of good teams.’
Schoen took the loss in the circle but did everything she could at the plate to help her effort, collecting hits in each at-bat. In the circle, she had nine strikeouts.
‘Robyn hit the ball well today,’ Cecil said. ‘She’s coming around.’
Rogers earned the win for Eastern.
Eastern (Pekin) 000 401 0 ‘ 5 10 1
Lanesville 000 102 0 ‘ 3 7 2
W ‘ Rogers, L ‘ Schoen.