The 2019 Paris Lady Tigers softball team is officially the winningest team in school history.
Following a one-day delay due to rain, the Paris Lady Tigers hosted the Red Hill Lady Salukis in a Little Illini Conference matchup on Friday night, and came away with a record-setting 13-2 victory.
The win gives the Lady Tigers a 22-1 record on the season, and perfect 5-0 mark in the LIC. Red Hill falls to 8-9 (2-5 in LIC)
This game — smack-dab in the middle of the LIC schedule — had a little more significance than any other on the docket this season. If the Lady Tigers took care of business, the 2019 team would find themselves alone at the top of the record book for wins in a season.
With the record squarely in their sights, the Lady Tigers wasted little time in making sure Friday would be a night of celebration. They scored three runs in the first inning, eight in the second and one each in the third and fourth innings to cruise to the victory.
Kaitlyn Mathews and Brooklyn Westerfield started things off for the Tigers with consecutive singles in the bottom of the first. Aubrey Sanders reached on an error which allowed Mathews to score the first run. The second run came across on a fielder’s choice with the third run scoring on an RBI single by Whitney Todd.
Paris put the game out of reach in the second inning as Kelsie Dosch led off with a double, advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on a single by Mathews. Infield singles by Westerfield and Sanders loaded the bases with just one out. Sydney Fox laid down a sacrifice bunt, then Katrina Strow followed suit to make the score 6-1. Kendall Mathews singled with two outs to plate another run, then Dosch knocked her second hit of the inning to drive in another run. Carlei Sapp was hit by a pitch to bring in the 10th run.Westerfield singled to make the score 11-1.
Coach Jeremy Clodfelder was elated at his teams’ performance — and also also their accomplishment in achieving the school record.
“I’m so happy for our players, coaches, families and fans on the setting of the record,” Clodfelder said. “I’m really proud of our team today. We really played pretty well in all facets of the game. We hit the ball with authority and played great with our short game.”
Hitting the ball with authority is nothing new for the Lady Tigers — and Friday was no exception. Paris pounded out 15 hits in the gametaking advantage of the high winds on the Illinois prairie and errors by Red Hill.
Dosch led the way with a double and two singles in three plate appearances. She also drove in one run. WCIA Channel 3 Athlete of the Week Kaitlyn Mathews continued her torrid season with a three-for-three performance of her own. The junior also drove in a pair of runs on the day. Westerfield was the third Tiger to collect three hits on the day to go along with one RBI. Strow had a triple, a single and drove in one run. Sanders, Fox, Todd, and Kendall Mathews each singled, with Fox and Mathews driving in a pair of runs each.
Lady Tiger pitcher Karley Moore scattered seven hits in five innings of work to pick up her 10th win of the season. The freshman hurler allowed two runs — one earned — walking five and sriking out two.
Monday’s game at Newton will be a big one for the Lady Tigers as they travel to Newton. The game will likely decide the champion of the Little Illini Conference. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, May 1, the Lady Tigers will travel to Charleston to face the Lady Trojans in a game that could possibly be the first of two between IHSA Class 3A opponents in the first round of regional play later in May.
Paris 12, Parke-Heritage 0
ROCKVILLE, Ind. — For the second consecutive game — and the third time in their last four — the Paris Lady Tigers shut out their opponent.
This time, the Parke-Heritage Lady Wolves were the victims as they fell to the Lady Tigers 12-0 in five innings on Tuesday afternoon.
With the victory, the Lady Tigers tied the school record for most wins in a season. Their record sits at 21-1 on the year,. They are 4-0 in the Little Illini Conference.
Paris got off of the bus after the short trip across the state line and came out swinging. The first seven batters reached either by walk or hit, and the Lady Tigers hung seven runs on the scoreboard before the first out was recorded.
Kaitlyn Mathews and Brooklyn Westerfield singled, then Aubrey Sanders walked to load the bases. Sydney Fox singled to center to plate the first run of the contest. Katrina Strow singled on a bunt, then Whitney Todd drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the third run. Kendall Mathews cleared the bases with a triple down the right field line. She scored on a sacrifice fly by Kelsie Dosch. When the dust had settled, the Lady Tigers held a 7-0 lead after a half inning of play.
That would be plenty of run support for Kaitlyn Mathews as the junior hurler went five innings in earning her eighth win of the season. She allowed just two hits on the day, did not walk a batter and struck out four.
Paris freshman Kendall Mathews did all she could offensively to help her sister out, as she was three-for-three at the plate. She had a single, double and a triple and drove in four runs on the day. Westerfield and Sanders had two hits each with Sanders driving in one run. Fox, Strow and Todd each had a single and a pair of RBIs. Kaitlyn Mathews and Karley Moore had a single each to round out the offense for Paris.
Paris 3, Casey-Westfield 0
The Lady Tigers picked up a tough win Monday, April 22, when they downed LIC conference foe Casey-Westfield, 3-0. It was the second straight year the Lady Tigers defeated the perennial softball powerhouse.
The win moves the Paris mark to 4-0 in the Little Illini Conference. Casey falls to 15-8 overall and 2-2 in the LIC.
Ask any coach at nearly any level of ball, and they will tell you that pitching and defense will win games and championships. Coach Jeremy Clodfelder benefitted from the best of both on Monday.
“Karley Moore did a great job in going the distance and our defense was outstanding behind her,” Clodfelder said.
The freshman hurler went all seven innings in the circle, scattering five hits and striking out six.
After leaving two base runners on in the bottom of the first inning, the Lady Tigers were not about to let the same thing happen in the second. Katrina Strow led off the second inning by reaching on the first of two errors by the Lady Warriors. After stealing second base, Strow came in to score on a double off the bat of Kelsie Dosch to give the Tigers the 1-0 lead.
Sydney Fox drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the third inning, then advanced on a single by Aubrey Sanders. Both runners advanced on a fielder’s choice. Kendall Mathews smacked a hard grounder to third the third baseman misplayed, allowing Fox to score the second run of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Sanders provided an insurance run as she launched her team-leading sixth home run of the season over the center field fence to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Moore allowed just two baserunners over the final four innings of the game to earn her ninth win of the season.
Sanders led the way offensively for the Lady Tigers with a solo home run and a single. Kaitlyn Mathews had a double and a single, Dosch had an RBI double and Fox added a single.
The Lady Tigers will travel to Newton on Monday in a showdown between the top two teams in the LIC. The Lady Eagles enter play with a 14-3 record overall, and are 3-0 in the conference.