Paige Kasten bats during the Hornettes 6-2 loss to Carterville on April 6.
By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornettes softball team split four games this past week as they defeated Sparta and Lebanon, but dropped games to Carterville and Pinckneyville. The Hornettes record stands at 12-6 overall, with a 2-2 record in conference play.
After defeating Anna-Jonesboro to open conference play, the Hornettes got their second straight conference win with a 12-1 win over Sparta in five innings.
The Hornettes got off to a quick start as they got two runs in the first, off the bat of Karly Stanowski. Stanowski hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first, to give the Hornettes a 2-0 lead. It was all Kyleigh Guinzy would need in the circle as she surrendered just one hit in five innings of work. Guinzy gave up just one unearned run in the win, and struck out one batter.
The Hornettes broke the game open in the fourth as ten runs came across the plate. The ten runs were scored by ten different players for the Hornettes. Only one home run was hit in the inning, as it was a two-run shot off the bat of Jenna Harris. Mackenzie McFeron, Stanowski, Alli Liske, Brooke Burcham, Jordan Stiegman, and Harris all had at least one hit in the inning. Paige Kasten reached in the inning via an error, while Sophie Heck, Libby Ahlers, and Joey Lane each had a walk in the inning.
Overall at the plate the Hornettes were led by Stanowski who went 2-3 with a run scored, a double, a home run, and three RBIs. Harris also had two RBIs, with her only hit being the home run, Stiegman drove in two runs in the game, on one hit. McFeron finished 1-2 with two runs scored, a walk, and three stolen bases. Both Kasten and Liske each finished with a hit and a RBI, while Burcham finished 1-3 with a run scored. Ahlers and Olivia Cook did not record a hit, but scored a run. Brooke Bartling drove in a run in the win for Nashville.
The Hornettes were back in action on Thursday, April 6 as they took on Carterville. A close game throughout, the Lady Lions pulled away late for a 6-2 victory.
Carterville jumped out to an early lead as they scored a run in the second inning, capitalizing on a Nashville error, before scoring another run in the fourth on a home run by Baleigh Koester.
Trailing by two, in the fourth, Burcham doubled with two outs in the fourth, and would come around to score, when Heck crushed a two run home run to tie the game. The game would stay tied until the sixth, when Carterville was able to take the lead on a home run by Sophie Laird.
Carterville would add three more in the seventh and go on to defeat the Hornettes 6-2. After the game, Coach Shaun Renth talked about how the final score did not reflect how close the game was. “I thought it was a pretty clean well-played game by both teams. One or two run game for most of the game, and they just got a few more in the seventh. It just happens. I thought we played well today. There are some things we can do better, but Jenna (Harris) battled, she gave up those two home runs and came back and kept us in the game. That’s all we can ask from her. Kept us in the game, then Sophie (Heck) hit that big two run homer to tie it up and give us momentum, just a well-played game. A good game from two tough teams.”
At the plate, the Hornettes were led by Heck, who was the only Nashville player with more than one hit. Heck went 2-3 with two RBIS, a run scored, a double, and a home run. Burcham would finish 1-3 with a run scored in the game, while McFeron, Kasten, and Stiegman each had a hit in the loss.
In the circle, Harris started the game, as she went six plus innings, and gave up five runs, four of which were earned. Guinzy came in to pitch the seventh, and gave up one earned run on two hits.
In their next game on Friday, April 7, the Hornettes’ bats came alive in a 16-1 blowout win over Lebanon. The Hornettes got on the board first with a run in each of the first two innings, but an offensive explosion in the third inning put the game away.
The Hornettes sent 16 batters to the plate in the third inning, and scored 13 runs. In the third, Nashville got a home run off the bat of Heck, a triple from Burcham, four doubles, three singles, drew three walks, and reached twice via fielder’s choice plays.
Nashville would add a run in the fourth to go up 16-0, and Lebanon would score their only run of the game in the fifth inning.
Coach Renth talked about his team’s performance. “You always like to have shutouts, but just a good performance by our girls today. The 13 run third inning, you don’t get too many of those and they’re nice when they come. A lot of good things happened out there.”
Renth went on to talk about Guinzy’s performance. “I thought she was good, I thought she threw real well. She kept the ball down, thought she had good control, and that’s all you can ask from her.”
At the plate, the Hornettes had 13 hits in the game, and were led by Stanowski who went 2-3 with four RBIS and a double. McFeron went 2-2 in the win with three runs scored a RBI, a double, a walk, and two stolen bases. Harris also went 2-2 in the win, with two RBIs, a run scored, and a double. Heck had just one hit in the game, but it was a two-run home run in the third inning. Stiegman finished the game 1-3 with two RBIs, a double, and a run scored. Burcham finished the game 1-2 with two runs scored, a RBI, a triple, and a walk. Jenna McClintock was 1-1 in the game with a RBI. Bartling got a hit in her only at bat, and scored a run. Kasten scored two runs for Nashville, and had a RBI in the win. Joey Lane scored two runs for the Hornettes.
Guinzy pitched all five innings for Nashville, and just missed the shutout, and the no-hitter. Guinzy gave up just one unearned run, on one hit, and struck out five.
The Hornettes were back in action on April 10, as they traveled to take on Pinckneyville in a SIRR Mississippi Division Conference Matchup. The Hornettes fell behind early, and could not get in a rhythm as the Hornettes made six errors in an 11-1 loss to the Lady Panthers.
Pinckneyville got on the board first, as they capitalized on an error in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead over Nashville. Pinckneyville would add another two runs in the third inning, as the Hornettes committed another two errors in the frame.
Nashville would get a run back in the fourth, as Liske hit a home run to cut the Pinckneyville lead to 3-1. That would be as close as Nashville would get, as Pinckneyville scored three in the fourth, and five in the fifth to take the game 11-1.
After the game, Renth talked about his team’s play. “Bottom line is we’ve gotta make plays. We didn’t make plays today. I thought Jenna was pretty good, she kept us in the game, and we just didn’t back her up today. We’ve gotta do better than that, we’ve gotta make plays, and somebody has to step up and take charge and stop the bleeding, and we didn’t do that today.”
Harris pitched the first four innings for Nashville, as she gave up six runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits. Guinzy pitched the final ⅔ of an inning, and gave up five runs, only three earned, on five hits for Nashville.
At the plate, Liske had the only RBI for Nashville with her fourth inning home run. THe Hornettes would only notch three other hits, as Kasten, Stiegman, and Ahlers each had a hit in the loss.