By BRADEN LAYER Daily News
Effingham Daily News
---- — WINDSOR - Area teams should take note; the Windsor Lady Blue Devils are beginning to hit their stride.
Wednesday's tough outing against St. Anthony, a game that has to be replayed due to weather, was old news on Thursday, as Windsor pushed its winning streak to three consecutive games with a 7-2 triumph over visiting St. Elmo/Brownstown.
In the first Windsor at bat, Dani Bell ripped a single up the middle. Lindsay Floyd took St. Elmo/Brownstown starter Samantha Austin deep to center field one batter later, sending Bell home on an RBI double. On the ensuing at bat, Whitney Kuhl's shot to right field dropped fair to move Floyd to third before Maggie Reed plated the second run off a single of her own.
In the blink of an eye, Windsor was up 2-0.
"That helped tremendously," Lady Blue Devils coach Brian Lee said. "It's always good to jump out on top."
Playing with the lead, Floyd took the game over on the mound. Starting her fourth game in as many days, there appeared to be no wear or tear on her right arm. Floyd struck out eight batters in the first five innings, keeping the Lady Eagles off the scoreboard until the sixth.
"I thought she pitched really well," Lee said. "I thought she battled, she came out and threw the ball well."
Before St. Elmo could chalk up their first run, however, Windsor added another in the third when Kassy Strowmatt reached first on a single, then scored two batters later on a wild pitch from Austin.
Now ahead 3-0, the Lady Blue Devils strecthed the lead to five in the top of inning six. Bayleigh Tabor drove a ball down the third base line for a double and Bell hit one to the same place, with a little extra juice, for an RBI triple on the ensuing at bat. Floyd's second RBI of the day came on a single that snuck past St. Elmo shortstop Megan Maxey to plate Bell and make it a 5-0 ballgame.
"It takes a little bit of time," Lee said about his offense finding its grove late in games. "Especially in the cold weather today. It takes time to figure out what the strike zone is going to be from the umpire, so I thought they did a nice job."
The Lady Eagles responded with their own two-run inning in the bottom of the frame. Sara Maxey started the inning with a single to center field, and Megan Maxey brought her home with a double to center that snuck through the legs of Windsor's Allie Bridges to give Megan an extra bag.
"That's one thing about this group, they never give up" Lady Eagles coach Megan Burrus said. "We've got a 2-9 record and we've been down, but one goal is to never get shut out. They found a way to put a run on the board."
The final St. Elmo/Brownstown tally came off a sacrifice hit from Savannah Feezel, but the 5-2 score was as close as the Lady Eagles would come.
Windsor scored two more in the seventh, and Floyd struck out the final three St.Elmo/Brownstown batters to close the game at 7-2 and keep the winning streak alive.
Floyd gave up four hits in the win, striking out 13 by the end of the afternoon.
Austin picked up the loss, surrendering 13 hits in 5.2 innings of action. Austin left in the sixth after taking a hard line drive to her throwing hand, but Burrus said her pitcher will be alright.
Baylee Scholes pitched the remainder of the game and had a strong showing, striking out two in just 1.1 innings.
"That's all you can ask of a kid," Burrus said. "Sam's hand will be just fine, the cold weather makes it hurt a little more."
St. Elmo/Brownstown fell to 2-9 with the loss, and the Lady Eagles are back in action on Saturday for a tournament at Nokomis.
Windsor will also enter tournament play this weekend when the Lady Blue Devils put their 5-4 record on the line Saturday at Tuscola.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Windsor 2 0 1 0 0 2 2 7 15 4
St. Elmo/Brownstown 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 4 4
WP - Floyd LP - S. Austin
Windsor: Bell (1B, 3B, RBI); Floyd (1B, 2 2B, 2 RBI); Kuhl (1B); Reed (1B, RBI); Strowmatt (3 1B); Bridges (2 1B); Tabor (2 1B, 2B).
St. Elmo/Brownstown: S. Maxey (1B); M. Maxey (2B, RBI); Feezel (RBI).