April 24, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

OLNEY - A six-run seventh inning proved to be the difference Sunday as the John A. Logan College softball team rallied to beat the Olney Central Blue Knights, 8-6, in Game 1 of a doubleheader Sunday. Olney won the nightcap, 6-5.

In that seventh inning of the first game, the Vols got a one-out single from Jordyn Smith. It would be the first of seven consecutive hits. Kiley Pelker homered to tie the game at 4-4. Kelsey Rogers followed with a double. Lauren Talton homered to give Logan the lead at 6-4.

Katie Sandusky doubled. Katrina Whitley followed with another two-run homer and an 8-4 lead. 

Olney came up with two runs of its own in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too little, too late.

Winning pitcher for the Vols was freshman Nicole Short. She went the distance, allowing six runs on eight hits. She struck out three and walked two.

Pelker and Sandusky had three hits each to pace the offense. Pelker hit two home runs in all.

In Game 2, the Vols took a 4-0 lead, but could not hang onto the advantage. Olney rallied for four runs in the bottom of the second to chase Logan starter, Brooke Arnold.

The Vols regained the lead at 5-4 in the fourth inning, but the Blue Knights tied the game at 5 in the fifth.

Olney then pushed across the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Smith and Talton each collected three hits to lead the offense. Whitley belted a two-run double. Sandusky had a hit and sacrifice fly.

Sydnee Rushing pitched brilliantly in relief, but was tagged with the loss.

"I thought Syd threw well for the most part," said Vols head coach Angie Jilek. "It's just a shame we couldn't string our hits together better. It seems like if we're not hitting the ball over the fence, we aren't finding ways to score runs."

With the split, Logan completes its Great Rivers Athletic Conference schedule with a 20-14 mark. Overall, the Vols improve to 30-18 and will host Brescia University out of Owensboro, Ky. today at 2.

Region 24 postseason tournament play gets under way Friday. The Vols will again square off with Olney. Site of the best-of-three series has yet to be determined.