Mistakes bite Elverado in 2-1 loss to Goreville in Sectional championship
Kaity Lewis accounted for Elverado's lone run with a solo homer off Lexi King. (Brianna Tuthill Photo)
By Doug Daniels
1351sports.com / elveradosports.com
May 22, 2018
(Goreville, Ill.) - Mistakes are often magnified in big games, and that was the case for the Lady Falcons on Saturday in the Sectional championship against defending state champion Goreville. The Lady Blackcats capitalized on a pair of errors by Elverado to score their two runs in a 2-1 victory to advance to the Super-Sectional.
"We wanted this game really bad," said EHS head coach Donette Wheatley. "We should have won it 1-0. We make a couple of routine plays and we win, both errors ended up in runs. At this time of the year, you can't have mishaps because they end up biting you in the butt."
Goreville's Payton Sopczak led off the top of the second inning with a triple, and with one out, came around to score when Cheyenne Walker reached on an error. Elverado would tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Kaity Lewis led off the inning with a solo homer.
In the top of the sixth, Kaitlyn Schuetz reached on an error for the Blackcats, then scored on a clutch two-out base hit by Samantha Licka, an RBI that proved to be the deciding run of the ball game.
Chloe Barnes doubled to start the bottom of the sixth for the Lady Falcons, but was erased on a double play, and EHS didn't get another base runner the rest of the way.
Elverado managed just three hits against Goreville's Lexi King, one apiece from Barnes (1-2, 2B), Lewis (1-3, R, RBI, HR) and Zoe Maple (1-2). Pitcher Allie Whittington took the tough-luck loss, allowing six hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
"Allie kept the ball where she needed to and Kaity's bat came through for us again," Wheatley said. "It has been an incredible season for these girls. We win our fourth conference championship in a row, win the Regional, and get to the Sectional championship game. Finish with the best record in school history and should have nine players returning next year, seven of which were starters. I'm very proud of these girls and my assistant, Greg Whittington. His knowledge of where to pitch each batter is incredible. I hated for the season to end, we made a good run!"
The Lady Falcons wrapped up the season with an overall record of 23-6. They'll be one of the area's favorites in Class 1A when softball season starts next spring, with seven returning starters plus a loaded freshman class that won an SIJHSAA Class S state softball title this past fall.
Photos by Brianna Tuthill