WOOD RIVER — It was nearly a perfect afternoon for the Alton Redbirds.
Senior pitcher Brittany Roady tossed 4.1 innings of perfect softball as the Redbirds dismissed the East Alton-Wood River 11-0 in five innings on Tuesday in Wood River.
AHS improved to 2-0 on the season with the win, while EA-WR slipped to 2-3 with the loss.
Roady sat down 13 Oilers in a row before senior second baseman Emme Flanigan blasted a double to left field to break up the perfect game. In the end the Birds were just happy to notch a victory.
“I didn't know until the last inning after the first batter,” Roady said of her potential perfect game. “It sunk in right before she got the hit. I could not get it over the plate and she went and got that; it was a good hit, but she definitely went and got that.”
Alton head coach Dan Carter added, “(Roady) did a real nice job. She pitched a real good game after throwing a very good game (Monday vs. Quincy). She's probably going to go again tomorrow against Bunker Hill. She's the workhorse of our team, senior leader, she wants the ball and she wants to be in the circle and we're going to give it to her as long as she's feeling healthy.”
Adding to Alton's stellar day was a new kid on the block — freshman Tami Wong. Wong went 3 for 3 with a home run, a double and five RBIs.
Her second-inning homer to right field snapped a scoreless stalemate. With winds gusting and no fence at the EA-WR High field, Wong's knock to right tailed away from right fielder Rebecca Null and allowed the AHS freshman to motor around the bases.
“I've seen Morgan Moxey before, because we played each other in select,” Wong said. “I already knew what to expect. I knew she hit the outside corner, so I tried to stay more into the box and that first hit (home run) just gave me confidence.”
EA-WR head coach Dana Emerick has all the confidence in the world in his sophomore ace Moxey. She fanned seven, walked two and hit two more batters on Tuesday, surrendering 11 runs, but only one earned. She was hampered by four Oiler errors in the field.
“She’s proven that she belongs,” Emerick said. “We’ve put our trust in her. She’s our No. 1 and did a great job. I know at one point, they had five runs on one or two hits. No problems there. We’re happy to have her pitch for us.”
Emerick tipped his cap to Roady, too. He thought the home plate umpire was giving a big strike zone for both teams and Roady definitely took advantage.
“Everything is low and she had a big strike zone today, which benefitted both pitchers,” Emerick said. “But with that big strike zone we couldn't do anything with that outside pitch. She's an up down pitcher, she goes outside, keeps it low and comes back with a rise ball. We were prepared for it, we just didn't execute it.”
The Redbirds opened it up in the third inning. Rachel McCoy was plunked with a pitch to start the inning and after being sacrificed to second, Katelyn Presley coaxed a walk and another sacrifice moved the runners up. With two outs, Savannah Fisher reached via an error allowing McCoy and Presley to score. A throwing error allowed Fisher to advance to third.
After Tomi Dublo was hit by a pitch, Wong came through again, rapping a two-run double and elevating the Alton lead to 5-0.
“Tami's unbelievable,” Roady said. “She's good.”
AHS put the finishing touches on its win in the fifth, sending 10 batters to the plate and tacking on six runs. Presley started things with an infield single and after a strikeout, back-to-back hard hit balls to center by Fisher and Dublo went for errors, allowing Presley to score.
Wong then smacked a two-run single through the middle to score Fisher and Dublo and make it 8-0. A two-out single by Sydney Hartman and a walk to McCoy loaded the bases for sophomore Taylor Herrin, who banged a bases clearing triple to right center to up it to 11-0.
Roady went back out in the fifth to put the finishing touches on her perfect day, but Flanigan spoiled it with a one-out double to left field.
Emerick wasn't surprised to see Flanigan get the lone hit for the Oilers.
“She's our best hitter so far,” Emerick said. “She's really strong, been active in the weight room. That was not a surprise.”
With all his players back from last season, including his ace pitcher, and then throw in the addition of Wong, Carter is optimistic for good things out of the Redbirds in '16. He expects Tuesday's performance to be a trend, not an aberration.
“When you've got everybody back, you won 20 games last year and throw somebody like Tami in there and the second half of last season Dublo was injured, so now we've got everybody back, more girls to work with and we can get some girls some days off when we need to,” Carter said.
Next up for Alton is Bunker Hill at 4 p.m. on the road Wednesday, while the Oilers head to Triad at 4:15 p.m. Friday for their next contest.
ALTON 11, EA-WR 0, FIVE INNINGS
Redbirds 014 06 — 11 6 0
Oilers 000 00 — 0 1 4
Alton (2-0) — Katelyn Presley 1-3 SB, Miranda Hudson 0-2 SAC, Tomi Dublo 0-2 HBP, Tami Wong 3-3 2B HR 5 RBIs, Sydney Hartman 1-3 SB, Rachel McCoy 0-1 BB HBP, Taylor Herrin 1-2 3B SAC 3 RBIs.
WP — Brittany Roady 5.0IP 1H 0R 0ER 0BB 8K
EA-WR (2-3) — Emme Flanigan 1-2 2B.
LP — Morgan Moxey 5.0IP 6H 11R 1ER 2BB 7K 2HBP