GODFREY — Savannah Fisher of the Alton Redbirds had an afternoon to remember Friday.
She went 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple as the Redbirds defeated rival East Alton-Wood River, 6-1 in the opening game of the AHS Round-Robin Softball Tournament. Fisher also had two RBIs, swiped a base and pitched the final two innings to preserve the victory. She was a home run away from hitting for a cycle.
“It was a good day hitting for me and probably the best game I’ve had this season,” Fisher said. “This win definitely picked us up and can give us some momentum.”
The left-handed hitting junior shortstop tripled in a first-inning run and then scored on Miranda Hudson’s single to give the 16-5 Redbirds a 2-0 edge. And they never looked back in beating the 13-16 Oilers for the second time this season. Alton’s win came on the heels of a walk-off 6-3 loss at Edwardsville on Thursday.
“My team always bounces back,” said catcher Hudson, who had two hits and a pair of RBIs. She also doubled home a run in the Redbirds’ two-run third. They tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth after the Oilers scored their lone run in the top of inning.
Coach Dan Carter expected that bounce-back mentality after the Redbirds’ tough Southwestern Conference loss in Edwardsville.
“We have been very competitive all season,” he said. “We go out and play hard every night.”
Roady, a senior right-hander, worked five innings to make it Sweet 15. She improved to 15-5 by allowing 6 hits in 5 innings. Roady struck out eight.
“She pitched well and the top of our order did a nice job getting on base,” Carter said. “Savannah is really locked in mentally.”
He noted, “We went with Savannah pitching the last two innings because we are still looking for a No. 2 pitcher. And we have two tournament games Saturday.”
Leadoff hitter Katelyn Presley was 2-for-4 with a double, while second-place hitter Tami Wong went 2-for-4 and knocked in a run. So with Fisher’s three hits, the first three batters in the Redbirds’ lineup combined for 7 of their 11 hits. Sydney Hartman contributed a double and Tomi Dublo collected a RBI.
“That’s not a good matchup for us,” EA-WR coach Dana Emerick said of playing Alton. “They are that much better and it’s a matter of numbers. They have a lot more to choose from than we do.”
The Oilers struck for six hits, with Heather Martin getting two of them. Courtney Beneke’s sacrifice fly in the fourth inning played Carly Campbell, who stroked a one-out double. Ashley Knight and losing pitcher Morgan Moxey also doubled. EA-WR, which lost to Alton, 11-0, earlier this season, stranded eight runners this time.
“I thought we came up here, battled and did the best we could,” Emerick said. “It wasn’t from a lack of effort. This isn’t a good matchup for us. I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to be realistic.
“I can’t remember the last time we beat Alton.”
Moxey, a sophomore left-hander who twirled a six-inning no-hitter Thursday against Carrollton, gave up 11 hits against Alton. She fanned nine and walked two.
“I was proud of our pitcher and catcher,” Emerick said, referring to Moxey and Campbell, respectively.
EA-WR, which has won three games this week, is angling for its own bounce-back Saturday. The Oilers play Waterloo (at 10 a.m.) and Trenton Wesclin in the two-day tourney. The Redbirds also face the Warriors (10 a.m.) and the Bulldogs. Wesclin, which was 6-11, was scheduled to play at 10-13 Waterloo on Friday.
“Softball is a funny game because things can go in streaks,” Emerick said.
ALTON 6, EA-WR 1
EA-WR 000 100 0 — 1 6 2
Alton 202 200 X — 6 11 1
EA-WR (13-16) — Morgan Moxey 1-4 2B, Carly Campbell 1-3 2B, Emme Flanigan 1-3, Courtney Beneke 0-2 RBI, Heather Martin 2-3, Ashley Knight 1-2 2B. LP—Moxey IP-6 H-11 R-6 ER-6 BB-2 K-9
Alton (16-5) — Katelyn Presley 2-4 2B, Tami Wong 2-4 RBI, Savannah Fisher 3-4 2B 3B RBI-2, Tomi Dublo 0-3 RBI, Miranda Hudson 2-4 2B RBI-2, Sydney Hartman 1-2 2B, Rachel McCoy 1-3. WP – Brittany Roady IP-5 H-6 R-1 ER-1 BB-0 K-8; Fisher IP-2 H-0 R-0 BB-2 K-0