Effingham Daily News
Effingham's season kicked off with a roller coaster of a first inning, and the Hearts never fully recovered in an 8-4 loss to Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin.
The Cyclones scored four runs in the first inning off Hope Collier, only to see Effingham cut the lead back to one in the first when Brittany Beals hit a home run to right-center field.
That'd be as close as the Hearts would get, trailing 5-4 later in the game before the Cyclones pulled away.
For a team with just one senior, coach Jerry Trigg said he was happy with the effort.
"It was solid, a lot of things happened in that game and they were a good team," he said. "We could have handled them better, but the hustle was there and the attitude was there."
After the rough first inning, Collier settled down on the hill, holding the Cyclones scoreless through the next three innings.
Bree Derhake led off the top of the fifth with a double, and came around to score on a sacrifice bunt one batter later by Ashton Dyche.
The small things are a work in progress for Effingham, which showed on that play as Derhake took an extra base and scored.
"We just weren't in good position, when a runner scores from second on a bunt, someone's not in the position they should be," Trigg said. "Just the heads up stuff, they're eager and anxious, they just need to be a little more heads up."
Beals nearly tied the game in the fifth. Kaylee Tonn drew a two-out walk and Beals ripped one down the left field line, only for it to hit the top of the fence for an RBI double to make it 5-4.
She'd go 2-for-3 on the day with the home run, a double and all four RBIs, continuing to use the power she showed last year in her sophomore season.
"We're counting on her, that's why she's (batting) four, we're counting on her to drive in some runs," Trigg said. "Brittany's doing a great job, first game out and she hit the ball well."
They'd never draw closer. Cecelia Costa led off the sixth with an SHG home run, and the Cyclones scored two more in the seventh on an infield single and a Costa RBI groundout.
Collier went 7 innings, allowing 13 hits and eight runs (six earned) while striking out five.
"Hope, it was nice to get her out on the mound. She threw well, the first inning was shaky but after that she pitched pretty well," Trigg said.
Shelby Nunamaker was 2-for-4 with a run, Madison Weis was 1-for-4 with a run, Tonn was 1-for-4 with a run and Jenna Wright went 1-for-3.
Effingham (0-1) hosts La Salle Peru Friday night and then plays them again for a doubleheader Saturday.
Sacred Heart Griffin 400 011 2 8 13 1
Effingham 300 010 0 4 8 3
WP - David (7 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 8 K, 1 BB) LP - Collier (7 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 5 K, 1 BB)
SHG: McLean (1-3, R, BB); Derhake (3-4, 2 2B, 3B, 2 R); Dyche (0-3, RBI, R); David (1-3, 2B); Butcher (1-4, 2 R); Kuchar (1-4, R); Greiser (3-4, RBI); Costa (2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R)
Effingham: Weis (1-4, R); Nunamaker (2-4, R); Tonn (1-4, R); Beals (2-3, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, R); Wright (1-3); Roberts (1-2, BB)