It is not be a stretch to say that East Alton-Wood River's softball team has one of the best pitchers in the Metro-East area.

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Her name is Victoria Beachum, and she can beat you with any number of pitches.

A good number of them were on display Monday evening as the Oilers three times in their half of the first and four times in the fourth on their way to a 9-1 non-conference win over Granite City at EA-WR's grounds.

“My screwball and riseball were really working well,” said Beachum, one of two seniors on the Oilers (the other is Kari Westbrook). “When the riseball is working, I get a lot of outs on pop-ups. I threw a curveball a couple of times today as well, and got a couple of strikes on it.

“I have to give a lot of credit to my catcher today (Carly Campbell); she did a great job framing the pitches I wanted to throw and called a really good game today.”

Beachum got off to a bit of a slow start on Monday, but in Oiler coach Dana Emerick's eyes, “once she got going, Victoria was pretty unhittable,” he said. “I was pleased with the effort today; the girls went hard against a pretty good Granite City pitcher (Morgan Tanksley).”

The Warriors are a young team – only three seniors are on the roster this year – and as could be expected, they made some mistakes. “We had some mental errors tonight,” said Granite coach Emily Ashby, “ and it hurt us tonight. We pretty much beat ourselves.

“But at the same time, we played hard and did everything we could. We're a young team, so it'll come to us.”

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The Oilers got on the board quickly, and did so thanks to a couple of Warrior miscues. It started when Morgan Moxey and Beachum drew walks, with Moxey stealing second and getting to third on another steal. Tanksley then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Moxey to score, with Beachum going to second.

Campbell then drew a walk herself while Beachum attempted to steal third. The throw got away, allowing Beachum to score while Campbell took off around the bases. The sequence of throws ended with the ball getting away and Campbell coming around to score, and after the dust had cleared, EA-WR found themselves up 3-0.

Beachum herself got into a groove after giving up a leadoff single to Brittany Morales to open the game; she retired the next 11 in a row before giving up a fourth-inning single to Kaitlyn Patrick. GCHS, however, could not put together a string of hits thanks to Beachum's work.

“(Beachum)'s good,” Ashby said. “We managed to get a few good hits off of her, but she was pitching well.”

The Oilers extended their lead in the fourth when Emme Flanagan singled and Courtney Beneke drew a walk. Two outs later, Kaleigh Young loaded the bases on a walk, allowing Haley Shewmake to stroke a bases-clearing triple to extend the lead to 6-0. Shewmake herself scored on a walk by Moxey where the ball got away.

The Warriors got a run back in the fifth when Krystal Marler doubled home Hailey Crider, but Campbell homered and Beneke doubled home Flanagan in the bottom of the fifth to complete the scoring.

Shewmake was 1-for-4 with the triple, a run scored and three RBIs to help lead the Oiler attack; Beachum walked three times and scored a run; Campbell was 1-for-2 with the homer and two walks; and Flanagan was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI. Beachum went the distance to get the win, giving up one run on five hits while walking one and striking out 12.

Crider was 1-for-3 with a run scored and Marler was 1-for-3 with a double and a RBI.

The Oilers travel to Mount Olive for a Wednesday game, while the Warriors host Belleville West in a Tuesday game.

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