The St. Cecilia softball team continued its winning ways on Tuesday, taking two games from Centura/Central Valley. And while both games ended via the run rule, they had very different flows.
STC cruised in game one, shutting CCV out 8-0 in five innings behind a dominant performance in the circle by Natalie Kissinger. But game two was a back-and-forth affair for 4 1/2 innings, until the Hawkettes scored enough to reach the run rule in the fifth to earn a 14-6 victory.
St. Cecilia head coach Ryan Ohnoutka likes what he’s seeing from his offense throughout the lineup.
“The thing I was most impressed with was our at bats,” he said. “We were disciplined hitters. We made sure to swing at strikes; (CCV starter Kilee Ackles) was kind of all over the zone. We knew that coming in, and we just wanted to make sure we were hitting our pitch, and that’s what the girls did.”
The offense got going immediately in game one, pouring on five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tayelor Butler, Olivia Kvols, Allison Stritt and Mackenzie Demuth all recorded RBI singles in the frame as hitters 5-8 in the lineup.
“We always say hitting is contagious, and if the girl front of you can do it then so can you.” Ohnoutka said. “That’s our metality going up there. We got girls on and we got them home. We struggled with that last game; we left a lot on base. (Tuesday), we had those huge hits where we scored two or three runs in an inning, so that was good.”
Butler added a home run in the third inning, and Kvols hit a double and later scored on a wild pitch. Shaye Butler scored the Hawkettes’ final run, again, on a wild pitch.
Meanwhile, Kissinger was sitting down the opposition with ease. Through five innings, she sat down 15 of the 17 batters she faced, allowing just one hit and one hit-by-pitch.
“Natalie was really good,” the STC coach said. “She was working corner to corner, up and down. She doesn’t throw it right down the middle; she’s not going to do that. She was on (Tuesday).”
In game two, Shaye Butler and Kissinger both belted home runs, while Kissinger drove in four runs and Demuth tallied three RBIs. Shaye drove in two runs and tallied two hits. Kissinger and Tayelor Butler also had two hits. Bailey Kissinger, Kiersten Kober, Tayelor and Kvols also had one RBI each.
STC was up 8-3 in the top of the fifth, but CCV scored three runs to cut the lead to just two. But St. Cecilia tacked on six more in the bottom of the frame to reach the run rule.
The six runs given up by St. Cecilia in game two are the most it has allowed this season. Opponents are scoring just over two runs per game against the Hawkette defense, which has held all but two foes to three or fewer runs.
“Our defense is solid, we think. We practice a lot of time on ground balls and fly balls and just work on fundamentals almost every single day in practice,” Ohnoutka said. “This sophomore group, they’ve come a long ways on defense and they’re getting more confidence they can make plays. They have a little more range this year and their arms are a little stronger, and that’s huge to get those outs in the game.”
St. Cecilia will return to the diamond Saturday to compete in the Fairbury tournament. The Hawkettes will face off with Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan in the opening game.
CCV (3-7)..........000 00 — 0 1 2
STC (7-1)..........502 1X — 8 6 0
W — Natalie Kissinger. L — Kilee Ackles.
2B — STC, Olivia Kvols (2).
HR — STC, Tayelor Butler.
CCV (3-7)...........102 03 — 6 6 1
STC (7-1)...........051 26 — 14 11 0
W — Allison Stritt. L — Claire Adams.
2B — STC, Tayelor Butler, Mackenzie Demuth.
HR — STC, Shaye Butler, Natalie Kissinger.