ALTON – Edwardsville's Jordyn Henricks got off to a great start in Thursday's Southwestern Conference softball game between the Tigers and Alton.
As in Henricks opened with a leadoff homer.
The Tigers' Henricks pitched six solid innings of shutout softball before the Redbirds scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Tigers defeated the Redbirds 8-2 to finish off their SWC campaign for the season, ending up at 13-1 in the league and 26-4 overall with two regular-season games left. The Redbirds finished their strong season under Coach Carter with a young team 22-10 overall and 7-7 in the league.
“She (Henricks) actually threw really well,” said EHS coach Lori Blade. “We mixed it up and gave up the two runs partially because of defense, but they had a couple of nice hits and put the ball in play when they needed to. But I was really pleased with our focus it the first two innings; Jordyn threw well.
“Overall, I thought we did a nice job. The defense was pretty solid; we gave them a couple of bases on a couple of plays, but overall I like where we're at. I thought we did really well today; we ran the bases well again and we were really aggressive.”
“We settled down a little bit (after Henricks' leadoff homer),” said Redbird coach Dan Carter. “Then they got that third run in the second and we really settled down after that; I thought we did a really nice job. Abby wore down just a little bit (in the late going) but that's going to happen.
“They're the conference champs for a reason; my hat's off to them. Coach Blade does a really good job over there, they showed today why they're the cream of the crop and why they're the team to beat come postseason.
“I was pleased with a lot of things – we ran the bases well, we had girls on. I thought Tami Wong did a great job defensively, Miranda Hudson caught a great game back there for us and threw out a couple of girls – probably a lot more positives than there were negatives, that's for sure.”
Carter was happy with how the regular season went overall for the Redbirds. “Really pleased,” Carter said. “22-10, 7-7 in the conference. We didn't know what we would be getting with Abby Scyoc; we knew going to be a solid ballplayer, but we weren't sure if she was going log the innings that she's logged. She's done a tremendous job; she has 15-16 wins and did a great job. She's been one of our leaders as a freshman.”
Henricks opened the game with a leadoff homer that just cleared the fence in dead-center, then got the bases loaded later in the inning to threaten to break the game open early, but Scyoc managed to get out of the jam to keep the game at 1-0. In the second, Brooke Weber doubled to right to get things going with one out as Edwardsville loaded the bases again. Anna Burke drove in Webber with a single and Sarah Hangsleben singled in courtesy runner Kay Swanson to up the lead to 3-0, but Emma Lewis was thrown out at home trying to extend the lead further before Maria Smith singled in Burke to up the lead to 4-0.
Scyoc then settled in to retire the side in the third and the fourth; Alton mounted a threat in the fourth when the Redbirds got Scyoc and Hudson on base, but Henricks put out the fire when she struck out Rachael McCoy and Bronte Fencel. In the fifth, Alton made another move as Savannah Fisher and Wong got on base, but Henricks induced Tomi Dublo to fly to right and Ashlyn Betz to fly to left to end the threat.
The Tigers got to Scyoc in the seventh when Smith singled in Lewis and Burke for two more runs before Hangsleben scored on a double steal attempt and Henricks drove in Megan Pfieffer to complete their scoring. Alton staged a rally in the bottom of the inning when Sydney Hartman doubled down the line in left and Fisher singled and went to second. Wong then grounded to short as Hartman scored and Betz singled in Fisher for the Redbirds' two runs.
Henricks went 2-for-4 with the leadoff homer, two RBIs and a run scored; Webber was 1-for-3 with a double and run scored, Burke 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored, Hangsleben 1-for-2 with a RBI and run scored, Smith 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Lauren Taplin 1-for-4, Taryn Brown 1-for-4, Mackenzie Owens 2-for-2 and Lewis and Pfieffer a run scored each.
For the Redbirds, Fisher went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored, Betz 1-for-4 with a RBI, Hartman 1-for-3 with a double and run scored, Hudson 1-for-2 and Wong 1-for-4 with a RBI. Edwardsville hosts Marquette and Columbia in a home round-robin cluster at 10 a.m. Saturday before beginning the IHSA Class 4A playoffs. The Tigers open in the O'Fallon Regional at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against the Granite City-Collinsville winner; the Warriors and Kahoks play Monday afternoon, while the Redbirds take on Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in a SHG Regional semifinal game.
Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban