For Immediate Release
Softball -- April 28, 2011
Fontbonne Rallies to Stun Eureka, Sweep Doubleheader
EAST PEORIA, Ill. – St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference leader Fontbonne scored nine times in the seventh inning to rally for a win in game one, then received a one-hit complete game from pitcher Rachel McCarthy in the nightcap to net a doubleheader sweep over the Eureka College softball team, Thursday afternoon at the EastSide Centre in East Peoria, Ill. The Griffins won the opener, 13-8, and also claimed game two, 3-1.
Fontbonne (21-7, 11-1 SLIAC) opened the scoring in game one on Amanda Beaver’s line-drive home run for a 2-0 advantage. The lead was 3-1 one inning later before the Red Devils’ lineup exploded for a five-run second inning and their first advantage of the afternoon. Junior shortstop Carissa Alig (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.) coaxed a bases-loaded walk with two outs to extend the inning for junior second baseman Tomi Tapper (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.), who unloaded an 0-1 pitch over the center field fence to clear the bases for a 6-3 Eureka lead. The grand slam was Eureka’s first since Tapper hit a bases-loaded homer in a 13-2 win at Greenville on April 14, 2010.
The Red Devils (9-15, 6-6 SLIAC) protected their lead and eventually extended the advantage to 8-4 in the fifth inning on a two-run bomb from junior center fielder Sara Hamilton (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central).
Eureka carried the 8-4 advantage into the seventh inning before the visitors regained the lead with a nine-run frame. Amy Simon drilled Fontbonne’s third home run of the game to cut the deficit to 8-6 with one out. The next seven Griffins proceeded to reach base safely, and Fontbonne took a 9-8 lead on Marissa Simon’s RBI single. The Griffins collected 10 hits in the inning, took advantage of one Eureka error and sent 14 batters to the plate before a groundout finally ended the outburst.
Tapper and Hamilton carried the load in the opener for the hosts, combining to go 4-for-8 with three runs scored and seven runs batted in. Six different Griffins recorded at least two hits, and reliever Brittany Kirn earned the victory after firing 2.2 scoreless innings.
Eureka took an early 1-0 lead in the nightcap on Hamilton’s RBI groundout, but the Griffins tied the game on Beaver’s RBI double in the bottom of the first. The Griffins would pick up two more runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-1 lead that would hold up as the final score.
McCarthy yielded only a hit to Alig en route to a complete-game victory. She struck out seven Red Devils. The doubleheader sweep extended Fontbonne’s win streak to nine games.
Thursday’s doubleheader was played at Mizuno Field at the EastSide Centre in East Peoria, the annual site of the Illinois High School Association state finals, after constant rainfall earlier in the week forced unplayable field conditions in Eureka.
The Red Devils will have less than 48 hours of rest from game competition before returning to action Saturday at 1 p.m. against SLIAC foe Spalding in a doubleheader in Eureka. The Red Devils will honor Jill Doty (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.), the lone senior on the 2011 roster, during the annual Senior Day ceremony.
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