The Effingham Lady Hearts crushed the Champaign Central Lady Maroons Friday 23-3 in four innings.
The Lady Maroons bats got started as soon as the first pitch happened. Natalie Stumph got on base with a bunt. She stole second base and was driven in with a single by Taylor Cribbett. Cribbett scored on a wild pitch from Jaidi Davis.
"The first inning was a little rough. Jaidi [Davis] was throwing pretty well and we just weren't making heads up plays," head coach of the Lady Heart Jerry Trigg said. "We weren't ready to make plays. So once we got out of that with only two runs, we knew we could hit well. We've been hitting well all year so we weren't really concerned. The only concern was we don't like sloppy first innings."
Trigg said that the sloppy first inning they had was the only disappointing aspect from this game. As the bottom of the first, the Lady Hearts took the lead. Emma Budde walked and stole second. Carsyn Fearday belt a home run over the center field wall to tie the game up. Emma Hardiek hit a bloop single to right and scored on a stolen base attempt as the Lady Maroons catcher threw it over the second baseman's head to take the lead. Davis then hit a home run to right center to take the 4-2 early lead.
Davis sent the next three Lady Maroons down in the second with two strike outs. The Lady Hearts doubled their score with Fearday driving in two on single to left. Fearday stole second and third while Morgan Krouse walked. Krouse then stole second to get into scoring position. Hardiek brought in Fearday on a sacrifice hit and Davis brought in Krouse on a single to right. The Lady Maroons put one run on the board in the top of the third but when the Lady Hearts came to bat in the bottom half of the inning, the Lady Hearts bats threw a hit parade.
The Lady Hearts scored 15 runs in the third inning and closed the door shut on the Lady Maroons. Overall, Trigg said that from the top of his lineup to the bottom, they all hit well. Hits, hits, and more hits rained on the Lady Maroons. In the two innings before, the Lady Hearts batted eight players in each inning. Skylar Schafer started the inning off with a double, and Trigg said that she was in a bit of a slump.
"She comes back and hits two doubles in one inning and [is] hitting with a lot of confidence now," Trigg said. "That is what hitting is-confidence. I think they all have worked so hard on getting a swing now its confidence to put it to use so I was happy with our approach more than anything."
After the 15-run inning, Taylor Armstrong was sent to the circle and struck out the first batter she saw and sent the next two down to finish out the game.