March 7, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CLERMONT, FLA.  – The John A. Logan College softball team split a pair of games Friday to open the spring season, beating Mesabi Range College of Virginia, Minn., 7-0, and then falling to Mercyhurst Northeast College of Erie, Pa., 4-0.

Picking up the win over Mesabi Range was sophomore righthander Jolyn Lake. The Okawville native allowed only three hits in four innings. She struck out three and walked one. Finishing up was fellow sophomore, Corrine Wilson of Elkville with two scoreless innings and three strikeouts.

Sophomore Amanda Evinger paced the offense with three hits, three runs scored, two stolen bases and a walk. Freshman Briah Winchester rapped out two hits and scored a pair of runs. Sophomore Kelsey Robinson of Du Quoin slugged a homer. Also collecting hits were Kaylyn Winders, Anna Mansfield and Madison Craig.

Logan scored three of its seven runs in the first inning. Evinger singled to right. Kiley Pelker also singled. A wild pitch advanced the runners. Winchester walked to load the bases and Winders followed with a two-run single. A third run also scored on the play when the left fielder bobbled the ball.

In the third, the Vols plated two more runs to make it 5-0 as Winchester singled and Robinson blasted a two-run homer to dead center.

JALC added a sixth run in the fourth inning when Evinger walked, stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored on an infield single from Winchester.

The Vols added one final run in the sixth. Evinger singled. Pelker sacrificed. Evinger advanced all the way to third on the play. Pritchett was inserted as a pinch hitter and drove in the run on a ground out to third.

“All facets of the game – pitching, hitting, defense – were clicking in the opener,” said Logan head coach Bruce Jilek. “We didn’t know what to expect coming off a 23-hour bus ride. The game started only four hours after we arrived at the hotel. Add in the fact that we haven’t been able to practice outdoors due to the weather, and I would say that winning this ballgame was pretty impressive. Lake and Wilson were lights out with their pitching. We didn’t want to push either one of them very hard for their first time out.”

Jilek said he was especially encouraged with Wilson, who missed a good portion of last season after breaking her ankle sliding into home plate.

“I’m so happy to see Corrine’s hard work pay off. It meant a lot to her to have a good outing right out of the gate.”

Tagged with the loss against Mercyhurst Northeast in the Vols’ second game of the day was freshman Jennifer Bailey. She surrendered three runs on four hits in four innings of work. Pritchett hurled the final two frames, allowing one run on three hits.

Kelsey Rogers, Pelker, Haley Dukes, Robinson and Evinger collected one hit each.

“Mercyhurst Northeast was the better team of the two we played today,” Jilek said. “It was good to see that caliber of team this early in the season. Defensively, I thought we played well for the most part. Mercyhurst is a mainstay at the national tournament. Their pitching was above average and gave us fits.”

The Vols were scheduled to take on North Idaho and Macomb Saturday.