Highland gets back on track
Despite the No. 1 ranked team in 2A dropping their first game of the season on Saturday, Highland bounced back behind a big pitching performance on Monday night.
After losing 4-0 to the No. 3 team in 4A, Solon, Highland was able to pick up a 4-3 win over Pekin behind Katie Springer’s 13 strikeouts.
“I think coming off the loss wouldn’t have been as hard if it wasn’t Solon,” Highland head coach Carrie Weiland said. “They are a really good hitting team, and Katie had a really good performance against them, but we just had a really bad inning where we gave up a couple more runs than they deserved.”
On Monday, Highland was in a situation they don’t see very often, coming from behind to beat Pekin, but the Huskies were able to get runs from Courtnee Hahn, Cheyann Adamson, Kelsey Hora and Kaytlin Chalupa to give them the win.
“Last night was the same thing we always do,” Weiland said. “We had a shaky one inning, but for us to come back from behind is a big thing because we don’t have to come back very often. They need to work on those skills of feeling the pressure and handling the pressure.”
Springer has been able to have a great year so far, striking out 47 batters over 42 innings, while only allowing 29 hits in the young season, something she worked hard to improve before the year began.
“She worked very hard in the offseason, and worked hard to get better, learned her pitches and understood batters,” Weiland said. “She’s done a good job of knowing what to throw and how to throw it. She’s got great defense, but with 13 strikeouts, you can’t do anything about that with defense.”
With the win, Highland moved to 8-1 on the year, and despite currently being ranked No. 1 in 2A, they are focused on the ultimate goal at the end of the season.
“I think (the ranking) has given the team a bit of confidence, but it has made them extremely nervous,” Weiland said. “I’m not sure if we deserve to be up there as of right now, because we didn’t make it to state last year. It’s an honor, but we don’t talk about it right now at all. What’s important is the end of the year.”
Highland will travel to face Columbus on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.