Pekin continues winning
The Pekin Panthers have been crushing the softball at the plate this week.
Pekin could hardly contain its scoring against Winfield-Mt. Union Monday in a 15-5 route in six innings. Tuesday saw the Panthers visit Columbus Junction where they finished a rain delayed game from earlier in the season and play another from scratch.
Pekin came from behind to win the delayed game, 13-12, and kept the good times rolling for game 2 as they won 8-4.
WINFIELD-MT. UNION 5
The Panthers scored early and often against Winfield-Mt. Union. Pekin tallied five runs in the first and four in the second to put the game out of reach. A three-spot in the sixth shortened the game because of the mercy rule.
Leslie Stone started and got the “W.” She pitched three innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on three hits and five walks with two strikeouts.
Cheyann Lankford relieved Stone and threw the final three innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit with three punchouts.
Pekin head coach Bryan Marlay said Stone is coming off a quadricep injury and hasn’t been able to play very much in the last week.
“Our plan was to throw her three innings,” he said. “I was pleased with the progress she made. Cheyann has done a good job for us since Leslie’s injury.”
Marlay said he plans to use Lankford and Stone for the remaining games this week. He said he would probably let a freshman pitch one of the games, too.
Stone had a great day not only from the pitching rubber but also at the plate. She launched a home run and a double and finished with four RBIs. Diana Lane went 2-4 with an RBI. Peyton Atwood was 2-3 with two RBIs and one run.
Emily Adam was 2-4 at bat and collected two RBIs and a run. Maleaha Earnest tripled, drove in two runs and scored one herself. “We’ve been swinging the bats much better since Saturday morning,” Marlay said. “We’ve scored 45 runs in our last four games. We’ve also given up 30 runs.”
PEKIN 13, COLUMBUS 12
When the May 28 home game against Columbus was delayed because of rain, the Panthers were trailing the Wildcats in the third inning.
Before the game was resumed in Columbus Junction Tuesday, Marlay said he would have preferred to start the game over. But when the winning run crossed the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning, Marlay could not have been happier.
Columbus scored five in the first, one in the second, six in the third, and then none for the rest of the game. Pekin scored three in the first, three in the second, one in the fourth, three in the fifth and three in the seventh to come from behind for the victory.
Stone got the victory for the Panthers. She gave up 12 runs, five earned, on three hits and 12 walks to go with nine whiffs. Marlay said Stone struggled in May when the game started but was sharp when the game resumed Tuesday.
“She threw lights out last night,” Marlay said. “She gave up just one hit in the last four innings.”
Brittany Gillam went 4-5 with a double, a triple and four RBIs. Lankford went 1-3 with three RBIs. Stone was 1-4 with two RBIs, including the game-winning RBI single.
PEKIN 8, COLUMBUS 4
Maranda Baker stole the show in game 2 with a pair of home runs. Baker finished with four RBIs and three runs.
Marlay said he’s seen a few Panthers hit multiple home runs in a game but it is a rare feat, indeed.
Baker cracked her first home run in the first inning with two runners on and after Pekin had already scored a run. Baker’s blast soared over the centerfield fence and hit the top of a school bus. Before the Panthers had even made an out they were leading 4-0.
Gillam went 2-3 with an RBI and a run. Stone went 1-4 with an RBI. Madelyn Baker was 1-4 with an RBI and a run. Earnest picked up a hit and scored a run. Peyton Atwood went 1-3 with an RBI.
Stone started the game but pitched for just 1.1 innings because Marlay wanted to limit her innings owing to her injury. Stone gave up three runs, two earned, on one hit and three walks. Lankford pitched the final 5.2 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits and no walks while fanning five.
The Panthers play a varsity doubleheader against IMS at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at home.