BETHALTO — After winning three games by shutout pitching this week, the Alton High softball team turned its attention to hitting Friday.
And the Redbirds struck it big.
They outlasted Civic Memorial, 15-8, in a wild one during a windy afternoon at the Bethalto Sports Complex. The Birds, winners of four road games beginning Tuesday, improved to 10-7. The Eagles dropped to 6-10.
“We did a lot of things right today,” AHS coach Dan Carter said Friday, “and things are going well for us this week.”
Mostly, it was all about slugging against the Eagles, who did their share of swatting. The teams combined for 35 hits, including 14 for extra bases. Five of them were home runs.
“There were a lot of hits, home runs and a heck of a wind today,” CM coach Mike Eddy said.
Savannah Fisher of the Redbirds made the most of the outgoing gust. The left-handed hitting shortstop belted two home runs and went 3-for-5 with four RBIs. She clouted a two-run home run in the first inning and another two-run shot in the seventh.
“I felt pretty good at the plate,” said Fisher, who also had a two-homer game earlier this season against Quincy.
She added, “I think we are coming together as a team. We have good team chemistry.”
Carter noted, “Savannah has that kind of potential and power. She can drive it.”
Catcher Miranda Hudson went 3-for-5, reached base four times and drove in four runs. She stroked a two-run single in the third and a two-run double in the fourth.
“It was one of my better games,” Hudson said. “We’ve been playing better as a team lately and it seems like we are more intense when we are playing on the road.”
Outfielder Bronte Fencel went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and knocked in a run to boost the 20-hit output.
“This was my best game of the season,” Fencel said of her heavy hitting. “Everyone had their hitting shoes on today and we were all in a good mood.”
Katelyn Presley collected three hits, including two doubles, to back winning pitcher Brittany Roady. Sydney Hartman chipped in with three hits, one a double. Shannon Jackson went 2-for-3, reached base three times and had two RBIs.
“Brittany struggled at times, but she kept battling,” Carter said. “We also kept our composure when we gave them some runs.”
Alton made four errors, two more than CM. The Eagles erupted for 15 hits with Chloe Jennings, Kelsey Deaton and Baylee Hampton smacking home runs. Jennings was 3-for-5, including a single, double and two RBIs. Hampton had two hits, including a double, and Deaton reached base three times. Teammates Cassie Albers, Susan Buchanan and Kalyn Haar all had two hits and were on base three times.
“Jennings is a really nice player,” Carter said. The center fielder demonstrated strong defense by throwing out two runners at the plate.
CM trailed 13-3 in the sixth, but scored three times, then tacked on two runs in the seventh to make a game of it. Freshman pitcher Ryan Allison went all seven innings and absorbed the defeat. Top pitcher Shelby Whaley, a junior, is sidelined with an injured right shoulder. It’s undetermined when she will return.
“The 2-1 and the 3-2 games are gone for us,” Eddy said of the Eagles. “We’re going to have to outscore people. We could have scored 10-to-12 runs today.”
They strung together 15 hits, yet stranded a dozen runners, including six over the final three innings.
Eddy said, “Alton really spanked it around on us. We need to get the lead, put pressure on the other team and find a way to quit making errors.”
The Redbirds continue their road work Saturday at Southwestern. The Eagles are idle until Monday when they welcome Mascoutah in a Mississippi Valley Conference game. Alton resumes Southwestern Conference competition Tuesday at home against Edwardsville.
ALTON 15, CM 8
Alton 203 413 2 – 15 20 4
CM 100 113 2 -- 8 15 2
Alton (10-7) – Presley 3-4 2B-2 RBI, Fisher 3-5 HR-2 RBI-4, Hudson 3-5 2B RBI-4, Fencel 4-5 2B-2 RBI, McCoy 2-3 RBI, Hartman 3-4 2BRBI, Jackson 2-3 RBI-2. WP—Roady IP-7 H-15 R-8 ER-6 BB-2 K-7
CM (6-10) – Jennings 3-5 2B HR RB-2, Albers 2-4 RBI, Turbyfill 1-5 2B RBI, Deaton 1-4 HR RBI, Buchanan 2-5, Linkeman 1-4 RBI, Haar 2-4, Allison 1-4, Hampton 2-4 2b HR RBI. LP – Allison IP-7 H-20 R-15 ER-12 BB-2 K-3