April 5, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

HARRISBURG - The John A. Logan College softball team scored four runs and banged out seven first-inning hits Tuesday en route to a 7-2 Game 1 win over Southeastern Illinois.

The Falcons bounced back to win the nightcap, 14-6, in six innings to earn the split.

In the opener, Jordyn Smith of Metropolis led Logan with three hits and a walk. 

Crab Orchard's Brooke Arnold hit a two-run homer off the left fielder's glove and added a single. 

Megan Hampton of Carterville cracked a pair of doubles. Nashville's Kiley Pelker contributed a double and single. Goreville's Sydnee Rushing chipped in an RBI single and Jennifer Bailey and Benton's Katie Sandusky also notched singles.

Winning pitcher was freshman lefthander Nicole Short of Zeigler-Royalton, who worked four innings, allowed two unearned runs on one hit and struck out four. She improves to 10-3.

Rushing hurled three scoreless frames to earn the save.

In Game 2, it was pretty much all Falcons. They tallied one run in the first and four more in the second against Arnold, who was later relieved by Rushing. 

Unfortunately for the Vols, Rushing didn't fare as well the second time around, surrendering five runs in her three innings of work.

A second reliever, Grace Vaughn (Pope County), also ran into trouble. She gave up four runs in her two frames, walking six to go along with five wild pitches. A couple of infield errors behind her didn't help matters.

Offensively, Logan got two hits from both Katrina Whitley (Du Quoin) and Pelker. Both also drove in a run. 

Adding one hit each were Smith (double), Kelsey Rogers (Carmi), Hampton, and Lauren Talton. Sandusky drove in a run with a groundout.

Logan head coach Angie Jilek wasn't happy at all with the split.

"We can't throw Short and Bailey every doubleheader," Jilek said. "Jen is battling a sore arm right now and we need a third starter to emerge. Today, our backups didn't do a good enough job in the second game. We expect our pitchers to do a better job."

Jilek said the Vols' hitters excelled in spurts.

"It doesn't help that we're playing without our leadoff hitter (West Frankfort native Kiarha Wilce). She is a good hitter and gets on base a lot, while also playing solid defense for us in the outfield. I know we have some girls out of position right now, but we need to see who's going to step up and take advantage of the opportunity."

In addition to Wilce, catcher/first baseman Madison Rapien and catcher Briah Winchester are also out with injuries.

The Vols now stand 10-6 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 18-8 overall. Southeastern moves to 6-8 in the league and 13-11 overall.

The Vols play host to Kaskaskia Thursday at 2 p.m.