April 7, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – An unbelievable comeback resulted in a two-game sweep (7-6 and 15-5 in five innings) for the John A. Logan College softball team Thursday afternoon over visiting Kaskaskia College

Trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the seventh, the Volunteers rallied to post seven runs and win the opener of the doubleheader, 7-6, in dramatic fashion.

Sophomore Jennifer Bailey led off the frame with a single. Brooke Arnold popped out to short for the first out. Lauren Talton doubled. Megan Hampton followed suit. Katrina Whitley bunted into the second out of the inning, but Jordyn Smith doubled. Sydnee Rushing walked and Kiley Pelker belted a three-run homer to tie the game at 6-6.

“I had two strikes on me and was just hoping I would get a pitch up in the zone so I could drive one, and fortunately, that’s what happened,” Pelker said. “It was a little bit inside, but up and I turned on it. I’m definitely seeing the ball much better right now.”

Kelsey Rogers followed with a double and Bailey, batting for the second time in the inning, looped a hit just inside the foul line for the game-winner, driving in Rogers.

“For once, the wind was our friend,” said Vols head coach Angie Jilek. “The left fielder gave up on the ball as it looked as though it was going to go out of play, but then it somehow blew back in play and landed just inside the foul line for the game-winner.”

Bailey was also credited with the win, having worked all seven innings.

“I’m not going to lie…I was pretty down going into the bottom of the seventh,” Bailey said. “To come back the way we did, and for me to end up with the game-winning hit, it’s absolutely amazing. I never expected anything like that.”

Bailey said she had been in a bit of batting funk, but is now seeing the ball much better.

“I think it’s confidence more than anything else, nothing different mechanically with my swing. I’m just seeing it and hitting it.”

In game 2, the Vols again fell behind, this time 4-0 after one inning, but proceeded to outscore the Blue Angels 15-1 over the next four innings to post the winin short-game fashion.

Bailey led the offense with a towering two-run homer, double, single and four RBIs. Smith clubbed three doubles and drove in six runs.  Pelker was 2-2 with a pair of walks. Logan Bowlby and Arnold added a pair of hits each. Katrina Whitley and Hampton each chipped in a double. Rogers singled and scored a pair of runs. Rushing walked twice and scored a run.

Winning pitcher was freshman Nicole Short.

Jilek was excited to get the sweep.

“It wasn’t looking like we were going to win two games today. That’s for sure,” she said. “After leaving the bases loaded previously, we finally exploded offensively and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I would prefer not to fall behind as we did in both games, but give credit to our girls. They never gave up and that was a big factor in the comebacks today.”

Logan improves to 12-6 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 20-8 overall. The Vols will host Southwestern Illinois College of Belleville with games beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday.