Six-run first boosts Pioneers in win over former assistant coach

Posted Online: April 03, 2013, 9:37 pm
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By Terry Duckett,
SHERRARD -- A former assistant coach for the Alleman softball program, Mike DeLoose knew exactly what his Sherrard Tigers were up against Wednesday afternoon.

In the first inning at the Joel Brunsvold Sports Complex, the Pioneers flexed their muscle by sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs, and Sherrard could not recover as it dropped an 8-2 nonconference decision.

"It was really tough,'' said DeLoose, whose club is 1-1, "because most of Alleman's girls, I'd taught and worked with when they were younger. They're a good team with good kids, so we knew we had a tough game coming in.''

The game started on an auspicious note when leadoff batter Chasney Jenkins reached on an error. Two batters later, Izzy Anderson singled in Jenkins. Before the opening frame was finished, Mackenzie Sanchez and Abbey Johnson had driven in runs, and Lexi Ferrari closed the uprising with a two-run single.

"We know Sherrard is good, and we wanted to come out and play hard, with a lot of energy,'' said Anderson, who capped her 2-for-4 day with an RBI triple in the Pioneers' two-run sixth inning. "Our first two hitters, Chasney Jenkins and Anna Wetherell (2-for-4), got us started, and everyone followed them.''

That six-run liftoff proved to be plenty for Alleman pitcher Avery Nelson, who went the distance to improve to 3-1 as the Pioneers won for the fourth time in five games. Giving up just two runs -- the first on Riley Strandgard's leadoff home run in the second inning -- Nelson scattered six hits, walked one and struck out five.

"Avery did a good job,'' said Alleman coach Mike Ebner, "and our approach at the plate has been good. We scored three runs in our first game; since then, we've scored 12, 24 and 13 runs, and eight (Wednesday). We'd been hitting the ball well, and we kept doing what we'd been doing.''

Down 6-1 going into the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers looked primed to cut deep into Alleman's five-run lead when Tori Redpath singled to start the inning and Jaryn Kinder worked Nelson for a walk. But after a pair of fielder's choices, Nelson retired Ashlynn Hawotte to end the threat.

That was the last time Sherrard got a runner in scoring position until the bottom of the seventh, when Jordan Hutton's RBI single capped her 2-for-3 day at the plate.

"We just need to work on some things to get ourselves ready, having not been outside much,'' said DeLoose, who earned his first win as coach of the 2012 Class 4A state fourth-place finishers with a 12-2 Monday win at Mercer County. "We're real close. We just need a bit more work, and to get everybody feeling comfortable with each other.''


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1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.

(More History)