The Sterling, Illinois Golden Warriors pinned the first loss of the 2019 season on Massac County last week when they came away with a 6-2 win over the Lady Patriots.
The Sterling team came “down south” to escape the northwestern Illinois weather and was scheduled to play three or four games while here.
They got in a game against Hardin County, 12-2 win, and the win over Massac but had to scrub a game against Murphysboro on the trip back north.
When the game was in jeopardy of being scrubbed, the parties agreed to play at the Metropolis Sports Park, and their fans were glad they did. Two really good teams went at it with the visitors coming out on top.
Cali McCraw went the distance for Massac and suffered her first loss of the year. Sterling clung to a 2-1 lead before erupting for four runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Murphysboro came calling next, and the girls put the loss behind them and dispatched of the Lady Red Devils 10-5.
Again McCraw went the distance for Massac and despite giving up two home runs, one which might not have come down yet, was solid in the circle. Macy Pierce was equal to Murphy’s offense by herself, knocking in five runs with three hits including a home run. Murphy’s number nine hitter and the top three of their lineup accounted for nine of their eleven hits and all of their runs.
Massac, on the other hand, had eight girls with hits and the lone starter who didn’t have a hit scored a run. Balance is a good thing. Emma Austin and Pierce each had three hits in the fourteen hit attack.
Harrisburg was next on Massac’s radar and the Lady Bulldogs were considered “the” team to beat in the SIRR-Ohio.
Massac considered it, thought better of it and went ahead and thumped the Lady Bulldogs 6-3 Tuesday afternoon at Harrisburg.
McCraw was dominant going the distance again and limiting Harrisburg to the three runs on just six hits while striking out five. Harrisburg pushed across two runs in the seventh to make it as close as it was.
Two of Harrisburg’s runs were unearned as Massac made an uncharacteristic three errors. But the errors were more than made up for by some outstanding glove work by the girls.
A couple of huge catches, one by center fielder Emma Austin and one by right fielder Paige Box, kept McCraw out of trouble until the offense had put up sufficient numbers to weather the formidable Harrisburg offense.
For Massac, Austin, Pierce, Bunting and Claire Bremer did the bulk of the damage with Pierce collecting three hits and the other three getting two each. Bunting drove in two of Massac’s six runs.
Massac’s record stands at 7-1 with a 2-0 slate in the conference. The loss was the first of the year for Harrisburg, whose record now stands at 12-1 and 1-1 in the conference. Notice was served at Harrisburg by the young Lady Patriots.