Ciara Kronewitter, Effingham’s starting pitcher, walked the opening batter in the bottom of the inning with the game all square at 3-3. After picking the runner off at second, Kronewitter walked another, and in the following at-bat, a Charleston batter hit a bunt with some air underneath it that appeared to be the second out.
But the ball eluded Kronewitter, and Charleston got runners on the corners with one out on a ball that could have ended any danger with a double play.
“We would have been out of the inning,” Trigg said. “If we make that play, we’re out. Instead, they get runners on first and third. The wheels just fell off from there.”
Charleston went on to score five runs in the inning, and Effingham was held scoreless in the top of the seventh to close the season on a heartbreaking defeat.
Kronewitter finished with nine hits in her seven innings, also striking out two batters.
Seven seniors played their last game for the Lady Hearts, and Trigg said the class was instrumental in helping the younger players learn the ropes.
“They all had very good attitudes,” he said. “They really helped bring along the freshman group. We had good chemistry, no attitude problems, and you can credit the seniors for that.”
Effingham finished the season with a record of 17-16, and Utz completed the year batting above .400, just the second player to do so in Trigg’s 16 seasons at the helm.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at email@example.com
Effingham 200 001 0 3 4 2
Charleston 102 005 x 8 9 1
WP - Stewart LP - Kronewitter
Effingham: Utz (1B); Myers (1B); Nunamaker (1B, RBI); Tonn (RBI); Pontious (2B, RBI).
Charleston: Finn (3 1B); Barr (3 1B); Story (1B); Wilson (1B).