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CARTERVILLE, Ill. (April 28, 2013) – Rend Lake and John A. Logan split in college softball action Sunday, forcing a deciding third game at 3 p.m., Monday, at JALC. It was the opening round of a NJCAA DI Region XXIV Tournament that was postponed by rain on Friday and Saturday.
In Sunday’s first game, RLC dominated and won on the mercy rule, 13-5. The Lake scored two in the third, four in the fourth and seven in the fifth on a dozen hits and committed one error. Taylor Thomas (Arcola) improved to 10-7 on the mound this season after throwing all five innings – three strikeouts, four walks, five hits and four earned runs. RLC catcher Alaina Reeves (Mt. Vernon) had one of her best games of the year with a bat: 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Haley Miller (Rockport, Ind.) had a monster game hitting: 2-for-3 with a triple and six RBI. Breanne Pelker (Nashville) was 2-for-2 with three runs scored. Every batter in RLC’s lineup had at least a base hit.
The Lady Volunteers scored two in the first, two in the second and one in the third for five runs on five hits and one error. The losing pitcher was Heather Johnson with Taylor Brackett catching.
The nightcap featured home runs by Rend Lake’s Molly Whaley (Benton) and catcher Abbie Lehman (Marissa). But it also featured three errors by Rend Lake in the field that resulted in five unearned runs for JALC and a 15-7 loss for The Lake.
Logan scored three runs in the second, six in the third, four in the fourth and two in the fifth for 15 runs on 16 hits and three errors. The winning pitcher was Sara Kroeger with Brackett behind the plate.
RLC scored first with a run right off the bat. It got another run in the third, four in the fourth, and tacked on one more in the fifth for seven runs on nine hits. The losing pitcher was Amanda Holloway (Benton) with Lehman. Holloway went three and two-thirds innings and is now 10-13. She struck out one, walked four and gave up 11 hits and 13 runs, eight of which were earned. She was relieved in the fourth by Erica Wilson (O’Fallon) who walked one and gave up five hits and two earned runs. Hitters for The Lake: Whaley was 2-for-3 with a home run and a RBI; and Lehman was 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI.
“We are in that situation where you either do it and win tomorrow or your season is over,” said RLC Head Coach Dave Ellingsworth. “I told the players today, you’ve really got to love the fact that you are playing games … where every at-bat, every pitch and every defensive play is meaningful. I believe they are relishing that.
We hit the ball really well today. In the second game, we didn’t struggle hitting, but we struggled otherwise. If we hit the ball like that tomorrow, and play some defense, we’ve got a good shot at moving on to the final four.”
Two Region XXIV Final Four spots are filled. Lake Land and Olney Central have advanced in the tournament after sweeping Southeastern Illinois and Kaskaskia, respectively. Rend Lake is now 25-25 overall. For all things athletic at The Lake, visit RLC online at www.rlc.edu/warriors.