GODFREY — Brittany Roady was sensational Friday and the Alton Redbird hitters weren't too shabby either.
Alton defeated the Civic Memorial Eagles 9-0 behind Roady's one-hitter. She only faced two over the minimum number of hitters, striking out 12, five of them looking. The Redbird offense pounded out seven hits and took advantage of seven CM errors.
With the win the Redbirds upped their record to 14-3 on the season, while the Eagles sank to 7-7 and lost their fourth straight game.
“When you throw a one-hitter and two over the minimum you can't complain about that,” AHS head coach Dan Carter said. “She really settled in there after that first hit. I think she realizes even if somebody does score, we're going to score some runs.
“The ball was moving real nice for her today and the weather is warming up and the ball is going to move a little better. This is a pitcher's time of year right here. It's like they got their spring training out of the way, no it's warming up and watch out the second half of the season is the pitcher's half.”
Roady felt good on the day. After surrendering a leadoff hit to center to Eagles' shortstop Katelyn Turbyfill she settled in. A Redbird error allowed CM baserunner in the third and she plunked Isabella Roberts of the Eagles in the fifth inning.
“We knew coming in the game Turbyfill was a good hitter, so when she got that first hit I just thought, 'It's going to happen, shake it off and get the next one,” Roady said. She improved to 13-3 on the season with the win. “My fastball I felt I was throwing it hard today and then my screwball I could come inside on them, so that was definitely working.”
On the other side, the Eagles have hit a midseason lull. Head coach Mike Eddy hopes the funk can end quickly, but understands the season includes its ebbs and flows.
“We're on a skid and we are talking about it in practice,” Eddy said. “I wish I had a great answer. I guess we're searching and honestly I think it's confidence. I don't see aggressive at-bats and I talked to a couple of them about that. I think we need to be more aggressive on those first two strikes and even our defense needs to show a little more aggressiveness.
“I think we desperately need to win a game. We're at that stage where maybe one or two games to get that confidence up.”
Eddy gave praise to the tenacity of Roady in the circle for befuddling the Eagles on Friday, too though.
“She's a great pitcher and Alton is good defensively. They were aggressive,” Eddy said. “You can't give them an inch because they'll take a mile.”
And unfortunately CM gave the Birds a mile with its field miscues. An error on a grounder to Alton's Miranda Hudson to leadoff the second sparked its offense. Rachel McCoy followed by drawing a walk and Sydney Hartman plated both of them with a two-run single to make 2-0 in favor of the Redbirds.
“Everybody on the infield made an error and the other thing is extra free bases,” Eddy said. “Those don't show up all the time as an error and they're there. We were giving them free bases today.”
Alton shortstop Savannah Fisher showed that the Birds don't need any help when it comes to scoring runs in the third. The first pitch Fisher saw from CM freshman pitcher Kaitlynn Wrenn in the third she promptly deposited over the center field fence for her third homer of the season, elevating the lead to 3-0.
Fisher admitted the offense feeds off the success Roady has in the circle and they have a lot of confidence in their abilities.
“She does great out there, she throws strikes and it just gets us really pumped up,” Fisher said. “We just want to go in and back her up and give her the offense she deserves. She's had a great season and if we keep hitting the way we have been, we're battling, and I think we have a chance to take some titles here.”
The wheels really came off for the Eagles in the field in the fifth. Three errors contributed to six runs for the Redbirds and let them balloon their lead to 9-0. Fisher and Bronte Fencel picked up RBI hits in the fifth for Alton.
Things are going well for the Birds. Carter doesn't even worry about two blemishes in the past week, a 6-5 loss at Jerseyville and a 2-0 loss to Calhoun in 12 innings on Monday.
“I feel like we're playing well even though we've got a couple losses,” Carter said. “The Jersey game was the second of a doubleheader, we played Brussels first and Brittany pitched a game and a half that day and still looked very sharp against a very good Jersey team. In Calhoun on Monday, that was a great game. We went 12 innings and one mistake in the circle and they made us pay, but I thought we did a lot of things right even though we didn't come away with a win against a very good pitcher (Grace Baalman).”
ALTON 9, CM 0
Eagles 000 000 0 — 0 1 7
Redbirds 021 060 X — 9 7 1
Alton (14-3) — Katelyn Presley 1-4, Tami Wong 1-4, Savannah Fisher 2-4 HR 2 SBs 2 RBIs, Miranda Hudson 1-4 SB, Rachel McCoy 0-2 BB HBP, Sydney Hartman 1-4 2 RBIs, Bronte Fencel 1-3 RBI.
WP — Brittany Roady 7.0IP 1H 0R 0ER 0BB 12K 1HBP
CM (7-7) — Katelyn Turbyfill 1-3, Isabella Roberts 0-1 HBP.
LP — Kaitlynn Wrenn 6.0IP 7H 9R 5ER 1BB 3K 2HBP