March 22, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

BELLEVILLE – The John A. Logan College softball team swept a doubleheader at Southwestern Illinois Monday, 8-0 in six innings and 9-0 in five innings.

The Volunteers improve to 4-0 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 12-2 overall, the best start to a spring season for Logan in several years.

Pitching ruled supreme for Logan on this day. Freshman lefthander Nicole Short (Zeigler-Royalton grad) was credited with a no-hitter in the opener, adding eight strikeouts and only one walk.  She is now 6-1 on the spring.

“I pretty much had all of my pitches working well for me. I felt really loose today,” Short said. “I also felt very confident. I don’t know how many no-hitters I had in high school, but it was great to get my first collegiate no-hitter today.”

Sophomore righty Jennifer Bailey (5-1) was almost as impressive. She allowed one hit in five shutout innings in Game 2, a single to right field in the final inning. Bailey also chalked up seven strikeouts against two walks.

“I had my curve and change up working for me today,” Bailey said. “I never take a team lightly regardless of their record. And yes, I was a little angry with myself for giving up that one hit in the last inning, but overall, I thought I pitched pretty well.”

In the opener, the Vols plated five runs in the third inning and three in the sixth.

Kiraha Wilce, Jordyn Smith and Bailey each ripped two hits. Wilce drove in four, including a bases-clearing double. Adding one hit apiece were: Kelsey Rogers, Brooke Arnold, Kiley Pelker and Megan Hampton.

In the nightcap, Logan tallied four runs in the second inning; five in the third; and two more in the fifth.

The offense was sparked by Smith’s two-run homer. Rogers also enjoyed a multi-hit game. Katie Sandusky contributed an RBI triple. Bailey was 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Pelker had an RBI single. Arnold walked three times and scored two runs. Lauren Talton drove in a run and Logan Bowlby drove in a run and scored two.

Vols head coach Angie Jilek was pleased with her team’s performance.

“Our pitchers did a very good job today,” she said. “Both Nicole and Jen were on their games. They made some big pitches and got some good support in the field from our defense.

“Offensively, I was concerned how we were going to come out and swing the bat,” Jilek said. “SWIC’s pitchers don’t throw as hard as some others that we face, which can throw your timing off, but we were able to put the ball in play and constantly kept pressure on them. That’s what we have to do with whomever we play. We have to continue to strive to get better if we want to be a really good team.”

Logan will host a doubleheader with Shawnee College today beginning at 2.