GEORGETOWN — Two weeks left in the junior high softball regular season and stakes were never higher than Tuesday afternoon as the Tri-County Titans traveled to Georgetown to face the Mary …
GEORGETOWN — Two weeks left in the junior high softball regular season and stakes were never higher than Tuesday afternoon as the Tri-County Titans traveled to Georgetown to face the Mary Miller Panthers.
These two teams have become quite the rivalry in the past couple of years with their last meeting being last season in regional play in Georgetown with the Panthers knocking off the Titans.
With four games left, the Titans hoped to improve their position towards regional play and gain momentum going forward.
Tri-County got off to a fast start in the top of the opening inning with back-to-back hits as Lainey Ehlers singled, then Keisha Budd doubled to score Ehlers giving the Titans a 1-0 lead. After Lydia Richardson reached on an error the very next at bat, Kiersten Budd stepped up with a double to score her sister Keisha and Richardson to put the score at 3-0.
In the top of the second, Tri-County continue the pressure as Shaylun Christenberry singled, then Natalie Knoll reached on an error. After Christenberry stole third, Ehlers stepped up in her next plate appearance grounding out to the pitcher to score Christenberry and the Titans lead grew to 4-0.
Keisha Budd then singled to center to score Knoll, then stole third and home and Tri-County had a 6-0 lead.
That lead nearly evaporated three innings later.
The Panthers responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 6-2, but the Titans responded in the top of the sixth as Taylor Williams was hit by a pitch, then scored two batters later on a triple by Christenberry and Tri-County was up 7-2.
Mary Miller answered in a huge way with four runs in the bottom of the frame, but Tri-County held firm clinging to a 7-6 lead. Fortunately for Titan fans, Kiersten Budd struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to help TCT preserve the one run win.
Keisha Budd went 3 for 4 with a double, two stolen bases, two runs scored, and two RBI while sister Kiersten was 2 for 4 with a double, three stolen bases, and two RBI. Shaylun Christenberry went 2 for 3 with a triple, a stolen base, a run scored, and an RBI and Lydia Richardson finished 2 for 3 with a run scored. Lainey Ehlers was 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI while the duo of Natalie Knoll and Taylor Williams chipped in a run scored each.
Christenberry got the win in the circle going five and one-third innings giving up three hits and six runs — one earned — while striking out a career high 14 batters. Kiersten Budd recorded the save going the final one and two-thirds innings in relief striking out five batters
Villa Grove 16, TCT 6
It was Eighth Grade Night at the softball diamond in Hume on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 10, as the Tri-County Titans team ended its week of games hosting the Villa Grove Blue Devils.
After capturing their third win of the season Wednesday, the Titans hoped that momentum would carry over into this contest against an established Blue Devils program who has not lost to the Titans since Tri-County started their program four years ago.
Villa Grove struck first in the top of the opening frame taking advantage of two Titan errors in back-to-back plays scoring their first run on a steal of home to go up 1-0. The Blue Devils added a run later, scoring on another Titans error making the score 2-0.
After a lack of scoring for the next three and a half innings, the Titans responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth as Kiersten Budd singled, then stole three straight bases to score cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Villa Grove then answered in a big way putting up a four spot in the top of the fifth to make the score 4-1. Villa Grove pushed another run cross by stealing home a batter later putting the visitors up 5-1 and then added another runto go up 6-1.
Tri-County responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame as Keisha Budd doubled, then scored on a double by her sister Kiersten to make the score 6-2.
The Blue Devils continued trun production with eight runs in the top of the sixth with seven of the runs coming on eight consecutive at-bats. Villa Grove hit three triples and a double taking a commanding 13-2 lead. They added an insurance run later on with two outs as Thomas doubled to score Ella Schweighart taking a 14-2 lead.
The Titans would not go quietly, answering the challenge with a four spot in the bottom of the frame as Adysen Colvin singled, then Natalie Knoll doubled to put runners at second and third. Shaylun Christenberry then hit a three-run inside the park homerun to right field and shrinking the deficit to 14-5. With two out, Kiersten Budd once again stole home and the score was 14-6, giving Tri-County some life.
The Blue Devils responded with two runs in the top of the seventh to make the score 16-6. The Titans could not answer the challenge giving Villa Grove the 10-run win.
Shaylun Christenberry finished 2 for 3 with a home run, a stolen base, a run scored, and three RBIs while Kiersten Budd was 2 for 3 with a double, three stolen bases, a run scored and an RBI. Keisha Budd went 1 for 2 with a double, a stolen base and a run scored. Natalie Knoll was 2 for 3 with two doubles and a run scored. Adysen Colvin was 1 for 1 with a run scored while Lydia Richardson and Lainey Ehlers both went 1 for 4.
Kiersten Budd went five and one-third innings taking the loss giving up 12 hits and 14 runs — 10 earned — while walking three and striking out eight. Christenberry went one and two-thirds innings in relief giving up six hits and two runs — both earned — while walking two and striking out two.
The Titans (3-4) will travel to Charleston on Tuesday to face the Charleston Trojans. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.