DHS Softball celebrates Senior Day with dramatic victory
Katie Smith races home with the winning run in the eighth inning. (Doug Daniels Photo)
By Doug Daniels
1351sports.com / duquoinsports.com
May 11, 2018
(Du Quoin & Red Bud, Ill.) - The Lady Indians celebrated Senior Day in style last week, defeating Murphysboro in walk-off fashion in eight innings, 4-3, with Katie Smith and Chloe Hill coming up with huge hits in the final at-bat for Du Quoin.
The Lady Devils got a run on two hits in the top of the first, but the Lady Indians got it right back in the bottom of the inning after Smith double and scored on a ground ball RBI by Grace Haney, one of three seniors honored after the game.
The bats went quiet on both sides until the sixth, when Du Quoin took a 2-1 lead when Smith singled and later came in when Haney reached on an error.
One out away from defeat, Murphysboro found a way to send the game to extra innings in the top of the seventh with a double and a single, and with the international tie-breaker in effect in the eighth, the Devils grabbed the lead 3-2 thanks to a Du Quoin error.
"(Hill) could have gotten discouraged, we had some errors behind her," said DHS head coach Jason James, "but she didn't shut down, didn't show any emotion, she just kept chucking and throwing. The kids came up with some key plays towards the end, she did a good job of holding her composure to get us to that point."
It wouldn't matter in the end, though, as Smith tripled to start the bottom of the eighth to tie it. Murphysboro then elected to walk both Morgan Bullar and Haney to set up a force out at any base, but Hill made them pay with a game-winning single.
"(Even with a runner on second) there was no way we were bunting Smith, she's our hottest hitter," James said. "She came through clutch. I wasn't quite sure what they'd do with Bullar and Haney, but they put them on and Hill came through. We told her to look for the first pitch. Bases loaded, (Murphysboro's pitcher is) going to try to get ahead, and (Hill) jumped on it."
Smith (3-4, 3 R, RBI, 2B, 3B), Hill (1-4, RBI) and Olivia Whitley (1-3) had Du Quoin's five hits against the Red Devils. Hill surrendered two earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six to get the win in the pitching circle.
Haney, Avery Shively and Kaylee Aleshire represented the senior class for the Lady Indians, and each agreed after the game there wasn't a much better way for a Senior Day game to end.
"This was a big win, Chloe really came through in the clutch," Haney said.
Shively added "It was definitely memorable to win like that on Senior Day."
Shively and Aleshire saw limited playing time at the varsity level through the junior season, but have become key parts to this year's team's success.
"I just kept working harder every year," Aleshire said, "trying to be an example for everybody else to stick with it and make your senior year the best one."
For Haney, it was her first senior night of the year that she got to share with some teammates after being the only senior on both the volleyball and basketball teams at DHS.
Du Quoin 13, Red Bud 2 (May 2, 2018):
Bullar and Aleshire (grand slam) both homered and the Lady Indians routed Red Bud 13-2, racking up 16 hits. Hill got the victory, allowing one earned run on three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
Hitting for Du Quoin: Smith (3-4, 3 R, RBI, 2 2B, BB), Bullar (3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR), Haney (1-3, R, BB), Hill (2-4, RBI), Shively (1-3), Aleshire (1-4, R, 4 RBI, GS), Chloe Hess (1-2, R, 2 BB), Avery Waller (1-4, R) and Maci Mckinnies (3-4, 3 R).
Mater Dei 7, Du Quoin 6 (May 4, 2018):
A five-run fourth inning for Mater Dei gave them a 5-2 lead before the Lady Indians rallied back to cut it to 6-5, but the Knights would tack on an important insurance run in the seventh and hang on for the road win at Du Quoin.
Hitting for Du Quoin: Smith (2-5, R, RBI), Haney (1-1, R, 2 BB, HBP), Hill (1-4, R), Hess (1-4, R, RBI), Waller (1-3, R, BB), Aleshire (1-2, R, 2 BB) and Mckinnies (1-3, 2 RBI, 2B, BB).
Photos and Video by Doug Daniels / DuQuoinSports.com