WOOD RIVER -- Hannah Rexford of the Roxana Shells sought to make every pitch meaningful Monday.
The freshman left-hander made all of them count for something special. She spun a no-hitter in a 4-0 victory over East Alton-Wood River in the first game of a softball doubleheader. The host Oilers won the second game, 16-5. Roxana moved to 12-16 and EA-WR pushed its record to 12-18.
“It’s my biggest thrill of the season,” said Rexford, who improved to 9-7 and lowered her ERA to 1.07. “It’s one game I really wanted because of our rivalry with them.”
She faced just 23 batters in twirling her first prep no-hitter. Rexford struck out seven, hit one batter and another one reached base via an error. She helped her cause with two hits in a rescheduled game originally set for April 8 in Roxana.
“The last no-hitter I pitched was during select ball in the summer,” Rexford said. “Today, I threw a lot of off-speed pitches and kept them off-balance.”
Shells’ coach Mike Arbuthnot said, “She threw the ball very well and changed speed effectively. Hannah was able to throw her change-up for strikes and that made a difference. I’m proud of her and the whole team.”
Dane Emerick, coach of the Oilers, tipped his cap to Rexford. “She changed speeds really well and her rise ball was working. We talked about getting on the pitcher and swinging early in the count, but we didn’t do that.”
Phoebe Booher delivered a two-run double to cap a three-run sixth inning against tough-luck losing pitcher Tori Beachum. The EA-WR senior lefty, bound for SIUE, allowed eight hits and two earned runs. She struck out seven.
“Tori is a little banged up with injuries, but I thought she pitched a pretty good game,” Emerick said. “We didn’t hit and we made three errors. There’s nothing to get excited about when you aren’t hitting.”
The Oilers created their own energy in the second game. They erupted for 16 hits against Roxana freshman Bailey Moore, making her first start. EA-WR scored four times in the first, fourth and fifth innings.
“We were motivated in the second game because we were playing Roxana and they are a rival,” EA-WR first baseman Heather Martin said. She went 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple. Martin also drove in three runs.
She added, “I was hitting the ball well and I had a better approach. We picked each other up in the second game and changed our mindset because we weren’t making good contact in the first game.”
Emerick pointed out, “Heather’s all power as a hitter. She’s up there to hit the ball hard. She’s our Cecil Fielder.”
Carly Campbell supplied a single, double and triple, while Beachum pitched in with three hits and two RBIs. Emme Flanigan collected two hits and a pair of RBIs and Haley Shewmake contributed four RBIs. Winning pitcher Morgan Moxey went 2-for-3 with a triple and reached base three times.
“We started hitting and hitting pumps everybody up,” Emerick said. “The fifth inning was a big one for us because we increased our lead from 8-5 to 12-5. That separation kept Rexford from coming into the game to pitch.”
Arbuthnot said, “They (Oilers) made some adjustments and they hit the ball all over the place in the second game. I was happy with the way Bailey pitched in her first start.”
Emerick liked the way Moxey used an aggressive approach against the Shells. “She’s a good little pitcher and she pitches with an attitude,” he said.
Abbey Palen went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run in the second inning to spur the Shells. Teammates Elizabeth Rexford, Cindy Scroggins and Booher all had two hits. Scroggins was 3-for-6 in the twinbill with a pair of doubles, a triple and two RBIs. She was on base four times in the second game.
Roxana entertains Marquette Catholic on Wednesday and then plays at Carlinville on Friday in South Central Conference competition. EA-WR welcomes Carlinville on Wednesday and then participates in the Alton Tournament this weekend. The Oilers meet the host Redbirds a t4:30 Friday and then tangle with Waterloo and Trenton Wesclin on Saturday.
ROXANA 4, EA-WR 0
EA-WR 000 000 0 – 0 0 3
Roxana 010 003 X – 4 8 1
EA-WR (11-18) – LP – Beachum IP-6 H-8 R-4 ER-2 BB-0 K-4
Roxana (12-15) – H. Rexford 2-3, E. Rexford 1-3, C. Scroggins 1-3 2B, Booher 1-2 2B RBI-2, Jackson 1-3, Moore 1-1, L. Scroggins 1-1. WP – H. Rexford IP-7 H-0 R-0 BB-0 K-7
EA-WR 14, ROXANA 6
Roxana 320 000 1 – 6 8 2
EA-WR 400 442 X – 14 16 2
Roxana (12-16) – E. Rexford 2-3. Palen 2-4 HR RBI-2, C. Scroggins 2-3 2B 3B RBI-2, Booher 2-4 2B RBI. LP – Moore IP-6 H-16 R-14 ER-14 BB-2 K-3
EA-WR (12-18) – Moxey 2-3 3B RBI, Shewmake 1-3 RBI-4, Beachum 3-4 RBI-2, Flanigan 2-4 RBI-2, Campbell 3-4 2B 3B, Martin 3-4 2B 3B RBI-3, K. Young 1-3 RBI, P. Young 1-4 RBI. WP – Moxey IP-7 H-8 R-6 ER-6 BB-4 K-5