St. Anthony and Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick entered Monday’s National Trail Conference softball game with identical 0-1 records, each team eager to pick up a crucial first “W” in the win column.
That was about the only thing identical between them.
The Lady Bulldogs looked polished and poised, scoring seven runs in the opening inning to build a sizable lead. That number marked just a third of St. Anthony’s runs on the afternoon, as the Lady Bulldogs used two home runs from Makayla Walsh and 21 total hits to coast to a 21-0 victory in their home opener.
“Our bats were really what did the talking,” Lady Bulldogs coach Crystal Tipton said. “Most of our hits were line shots, which is what I like to see.”
St. Anthony dodged a bullet in the top of the first when BCCH’s Autumn Riley was called out for interference running to third on a Kirby Herrmann single. The call negated Herrmann’s RBI on the play, and Riley was out at second base to hold the Lady Eagles off the scoreboard.
“We started out tough,” BCCH coach Carolyn Wendte said. “Then we had that call that didn’t really go our way.”
The ruling took the wind out of the sails for BCCH (0-2), and St. Anthony was all too willing to pounce on the opportunity. After Paige Koester singled and Morgan Gardewine reached first off a walk, Walsh, who also started on the mound for the Lady Bulldogs, showed her versatility with a deep three-run homer that cleared the center-field wall with plenty of room to spare.
After Walsh’s big bat got St. Anthony on the board, there seemed to be no end in sight to the scoring. The home team added four more runs in the opening frame, the final coming off an RBI single from Koester.