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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 17, 2017

Highland softball team wins over Pekin

By Bill Gatchel | Jul 06, 2017
Photo by: Bill Gatchel Highland’s Kelsey Hora gets ready to take off from first base in the game against Pekin Wednesday, July 5.

RIVERSIDE — The Highland Huskies started their post season run playing against the Pekin Panthers at home Wednesday, July 5, and by winning their game 8-4, they move one step closer to playing at state.

Pekin took an early lead in the first inning as they scored two runs. Highland kept the scoring from being higher after a double play by Aly Stokes and Lindsay Wide ended the inning.

Highland got on the board in the first when Kelsey Hora scored from third base on a wild throw, putting the Huskies down 1-2.

It was a quick second inning for both teams as neither team scored. In the third, Pekin started things off with a home run over the left field fence, adding to their lead.

Pekin added another run later in the third, while holding Highland back from scoring giving the Panthers a 1-4 lead.

It was three up and three down for Pekin in the top of the fourth while the Highland bats would come alive when Emily Yahnke would come on home an RBI double by Brylee Carolan.

Carolan would cross the plate on a sacrifice bunt by Murphy Beinhart, closing the team’s deficit to 3-4.

The scoring ways continued for Highland in the fifth as Hora hit the ball to the center field fence for a triple and would come home on a wild throw, to tie the game.

Kylie Wood scored after an RBI double to center field by Abbie Miller, giving Highland the lead.

The scoring wasn’t done for the Huskies when Yahnke would score on a hit to the left field fence by Carolan, to put Highland ahead 6-4.

It was another three up and three down for Pekin in the sixth before the Highland girls would see Jenna Sands score on a wild throw followed by Hora scoring another run for the team when Wood would get on base, putting the score at 8-4, where it would remain for the rest of the game.

The victory was nice for the team, said coach Carrie Wieland.

“It’s a good feeling,” she says. “We had to get this one out of the way and get it under our belts. I think everyone might have been a little nervous at the beginning, but we left the change-up a little flat.

“We knew Pekin was going to hit, we just couldn’t making any errors. We worked hard at doing that today.”

The change in the game came in the fifth inning and Wieland says the change came when Hora got on base.

“When she gets on and it’s easier with no outs, we just start making things happen,” she says. “Everybody gets more confident. The big deal for me was Murphy’s bunt which scored Brylee; Brylee’s speed isn’t great, but Brylee read it well and Murphy had a great bunt. That gave us one out and scored a run.

By Kylie’s play [in the sixth], taking the ball four and taking off to second with Hora on, we did what we were supposed to do.”

The girls play at Eddyville Friday, July 7. The challenge for the girls will be not committing errors.

“The pop flies that Megan [Schnoebelen] gets, the girls have to catch those. Those are catchable balls. We’ve worked on it. We just have to have a little more confidence. It’s just doing it.”

Playing at Eddyville doesn’t necessarily present a challenge for the Huskies, Wieland says.

“Sometimes it is a challenge, but sometimes we have to get out of here and we play a little bit better. This kind of gets routine. I think taking the bus there, get warmed up, then play ball is sometimes a little better for us. We’re ready for that game.”

The Pekin Panthers end their season with a 16-10 record while Highland advances on to the next round with a 21-7 record. They will face Eddyville at Eddyville Friday, July 7, starting at 7 p.m. The winner of that game competes Monday, July 10, for the chance to play in the state tournament.

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