EDWARDSVILLE - Ryleigh Owens struck out four batter and walked no one on her way to a no-hinter as Edwardsville defeated Piasa Southwestern 6-0 in a softball game played Wednesday afternoon in Edwardsville.
It was the second win in as many starts for Owens, who had one-hit Granite City in the season opener last week at home. Owens was in control for much of the game, allowing only one Piasa Bird runner to reach second early on, then retired 16 consecutive batters before Josie Bouillon to reach on an error with one out in the top of the sixth.
The only real trouble Owens faced was in the opening inning, when Bouillon reached on an error by the second baseman to start the game, but was forced out at second on a grounder by Bri Roloff. Roloff went to second when Megan Bailey was hit by a pitch, but Owens battled back to get a pop out and ground out to end the threat.
The Tigers broke out on top in the second, starting when Jayna Connoyer was hit by a pitch, then went to third on back-to-back ground outs. With two out, Owens helped herself with a single to left to score Connoyer, making it 1-0 for the Tigers. Another ground out ended the inning.
Avery Hamilton led off the Edwardsville third with a double to right, going to third on a ground out and scoring on a Sydney Lawrence infield single that doubled the lead to 2-0. A ground out and strikeout ended the inning.
Meanwhile, Owens was rolling right along, getting the Southwestern batters to hit ground balls on the infield that turned into outs while getting a pair of called third strikes in the third and another strikeout in the fourth. In the home half of the inning, Abbie Hall led off with a base hit, with Zoie Boyd entering to run for her. One out later, an Owens single advanced Boyd to second, and Lexi Griffin sacrificed and reached on an error by the second baseman, allowing both Boyd and Owens to score and make it 4-0. A line out to center and a force play at second ended the inning.
The Tigers got their final two runs in the sixth, all with two out. A Lexie Griffin triple, an error by the center fielder on a sharply hi ball by Hamilton and a double by Gorniak sent scored the runs to make it 6-0.
Owens only allowed one other base runner in the game, as Bouillon reached on an error with one out in the sixth. Owens retired the next two batters, and ended the no-hitter with a grounder to third for the final out to preserve the no-hitter.
Owens only needed 83 pitches to throw the no-hitter, walking no one while striking out four. Lawrence and Owens both led the way offensively with two hits and a RBI each, while Hamilton, Gorniak, Brooke Tolle, Hall and Griffin also had hits for Edwardsville. Gorniak had the only other RBI on the day for the Tigers.
Sydney Baumgartner pitched well for the Birds, allowing the six runs on nine hits, walking none and striking out three, throwing 91 pitches along the way.
Edwardsville is now 3-0 and hosts Civic Memorial on Friday afternoon at the Edwardsville Sports Complex in a 4:30 first pitch, then opens Southwestern Conference play at Belleville East on April 27. Southwestern goes to 2-3 and hosts Quincy Notre Dame on Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., then plays at Virden North Mac Saturday morning at 10 a.m., then travels to Bunker Hill April 26 in a 4:30 p.m. start.