Photo by Bill Roseberry
Alton pitcher Brittany Roady looks to deliver a pitch at East Alton-Wood River High early in the season. Tuesday, Roady helped lead the Redbirds past the Collinsville Kahoks to open the Class 4A Collinsville Regional.
COLLINSVILLE – Take it from Alton High shortstop Savannah Fisher. The softball Redbirds are rolling.
“For sure, we are clicking together as a team,” Fisher said Tuesday following the Redbirds’ 8-1 semifinal win over the host Kahoks in the Class 4A Collinsville Regional.
Alton’s victory, its seventh in succession, propelled the 25-7 Redbirds into the regional championship game at noon Friday. They’ll face Southwestern Conference rival O’Fallon, which ousted Belleville West, 2-0 in Tuesday’s second semifinal.
“We really wanted to win this game and keep things going,” said Fisher, igniting the Redbirds’ attack. She was 2-for-4 with a triple, reached base 3 times and drove in 3 runs.
Teammate Miranda Hudson went 2-for-4 with a two-run single in a three-run first inning as the Redbirds beat the Kahoks for the second time in four days and the third time this season. Collinsville closed with a 10-22 record. The Redbirds outscored the Kahoks 25-4 in those three meetings.
“We put the ball in play and good things happened for us,” AHS coach Dan Carter said. “I think the way we played this game is the best we have looked all season.”
The Redbirds made the most of nine hits and took advantage of six errors.
“We didn’t play very well,” Collinsville coach Dan Toberman said. “They (Redbirds) got a lead, it snowballed and that deflated us.”
Senior pitcher Brittany Roady did her best to throttle the Kahoks. She spun a four-hitter in beating them for the third time this season and improving her record to 22-6.
“I knew it was going to be tough today because we just played them Saturday,” Roady said of that 9-2 win. “So I was trying to get first-pitch strikes and make them pop up for outs.”
Toberman said the Kahoks never solved Roady this season.
“We scored four runs against her in the three times she faced us and we struck out 28 times against her,” he said. “She is as good of a pitcher as we have faced all season.”
Carter said, “Brittany is one of the best.”
Roady struck out seven this time and permitted only a third-inning run. The Kahoks trailed 3-1 at that point, but never got any closer. Fisher doubled home a run in the fourth and the Redbirds tacked on three more runs in the fifth. Sydney Hartman’s RBI triple highlighted that inning. The Kahoks helped extend it with three errors.
“We have some momentum going and hope we can continue it,” Roady said of the Birds, who haven’t lost since May 13.
Bronte Fencel pitched in with a run-scoring single. She went 1-for-3 and reached base 2 times. Katelyn Presley was 1-for-3 and on base 3 times. Tami Wong reached base all 4 times in a 1-for-4 outing. Taylor Herrin went 1-for-3.
“We have been preaching to attack and play aggressively,” Carter said of the Redbirds’ offense.
Fisher said, “We are coming together, playing good defense behind Brittany and playing our best ball of the year.
“We are looking to win a regional championship.”
O’Fallon which improved to 19-7 with its shutout of Belleville West, has won 6 of its last 7 games. The Redbirds have divided two games with the Panthers. They won 4-2 on March 29 at AHS and lost 2-1 on April 28 in O’Fallon.
Friday’s regional champion advances to the Normal Community Sectional. The sectional semifinal game between the Collinsville champ and Edwardsville winner is scheduled for Tuesday, May 31, in Collinsville. The sectional final is slated for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 4, in Normal.
Edwardsville tangles with the Belleville East-Granite City winner for the Tigers’ regional championship at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Lancers and Warriors square off at 4:30 Wednesday in Edwardsville.
CLASS 4A COLLINSVILLE REGIONAL
ALTON 8, COLLINSVILLE 1
Collinsville 010 000 0 – 1 4 6
Alton 310 130 X – 8 9 2
Collinsville (10-22) – Kassidy Smith 1-3, Carlee Mahan 1-3, Sidney Bost 1-3, Addison Wickiser 1-3 2B, Heather Martinez 0-3 RBI. LP – Wickiser IP-6 H-9 R-8 ER-4 BB-2 K-4
Alton (25-7) – Katelyn Presley 1-3, Tami Wong 1-4, Savannah Fisher 2-4 2B RBI-2, Miranda Hudson 2-4 RBI-2, Sydney Hartman 1-4 3B RBI, Bronte Fencel 1-3 RBI, Taylor Herrin 1-3. WP – Brittany Roady IP-7 H-1 R-1 ER-1 BB-0 K-7