EDWARDSVILLE - Civic Memorial softball shortstop Bella Thien is off to a magnificent start this season, hitting .391 with two home runs and 16 RBIs as the Eagles have gotten off to a 6-1 start.

Bella ThienHer second homer of the year came on Apr. 3, when Thien sent a three-run shot over the left field fence to give the Eagles some cushion in what turned out to be a 6-4 win at Edwardsville, which is a signature win for the CM program.

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For her efforts on the field, Thien has been selected as a Tom Lane State Farm Female Athlete of the Month for the Eagles.

Thien, who's coached by Lucas Angelo, was ecstatic following her homer and the Eagles' sixth win of the season.

"I'm feeling good," Thien said in a postgame interview. "I think it brought my confidence back; I've been struggling a little bit. I think the team really needed this win."

Thien doesn't remember the pitch she hit over the left field fence, but just wanted to find some way to get on base and extend the Eagles' lead.

"I don't remember it," Thien said with a laugh. "But I was just thinking base hit, base hit. And then, it went over."

Thien's shot, along with a game-tying homer in the fifth by Bryleigh Ward, were the two biggest hits of the game and she feels that the win is a major shot in the arm for the Eagles.

"I think that our team will use this to move forward when we play O'Fallon (Apr. 5) and Freeburg (Apr. 6)," Thien said. "

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Thien is also feeling very confident about the Eagles' chances in the Mississippi Valley Conference this season as well.

"I feel good," Thien said. "I think we all feel good because our confidence is boosted just because of this game."

The Eagles have come a very long way in such a short time, having gone 13-12 in 2022. Thien thinks that there's a very good feeling on the team going into some important games coming in the next few weeks.

"I think we're good," Thien said. "Hopefully, we'll take this and move forward with it. Hopefully, we stay together as a team and I think we will. We all have a great bond."

As far as goals, both individually and as a team, Thien is taking the simple approach.

"Just staying together as a team and build more confidence, for sure," Thien said. "And being one step at a time, one day at a time."

Being able to defeat the Tigers is a big win for the CM program, given Edwardsville's caliber.

"Yeah, I agree," Thien said.

As the season moves along, Thien is feeling strong about her team's chances and as mentioned, she's taking it one day and one game at a time.

"I feel good," Thien said. "I hope this takes us to Wednesday and we can defeat O'Fallon."

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