Lady Panthers slug past Waltonville-S-V in Regional opener

Kylee Kling was one of four Lady Panthers with at least 2 RBIs. (Doug Daniels Photo)

By Doug Daniels

1351sports.com / pinckneyvillesports.com

May 16, 2018

  (Pinckneyville, Ill.) - The Lady Panthers began their quest for a return trip to the State Softball Finals on Tuesday afternoon with an 11-2 victory over Waltonville-Sesser-Valier in the first round of the Regional tournament at Pinckneyville, scoring seven times in the second inning to put it out of reach early.
  RBI singles by Josie Gleason and Emma Banach gave PCHS a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, then the flood gates opened an inning later.
  Lynlee Linder started the big rally with a solo homer and later added an RBI single. Gleason (two-run single) and Kylee Kling (sacrifice fly) also drove in runs in the second, after which Pinckneyville was up 10-0.
PCHS starter Mariah Clark had allowed only a pair of singles entering the fifth up 11-0, but a walk and two base hits prevented the Lady Panthers from ending it in five.
  "Once they scored, I don't think we handled it well," said PCHS head coach Alan Engelhardt. "We got mad about it. You've got to play the game on a level keel. I thought we started popping up, everyone trying to get it with one swing of the bat. You learn from those things hopefully and you don't let it happen again. I thought we played well early, I thought we hit a lot of line drives and hard ground balls. That's how we want to play."

  Clark (1-3, BB), Gleason (2-2, 3 RBI, 2 BB), Banach (2-3, 2 RBI, BB), Kling (1-3, 2 RBI, 2B, SAC), Lindner (3-4, R, 2 RBI, HR), Taylor Witges (2-4, 2 R), Megan Mayo (1-4, R) and Lauren Jackson (1-4, R) each had hits for Pinckneyville. Clark got the win, allowing four hits and one walk with a dozen strikeouts.
  "They had a game plan, they were going to flip in change-ups at us to keep us off-balance," Engelhardt said. "I thought the kids adapted pretty well, we weren't anticipating over half change-ups, probably 75% change-ups."
  The Lady Panthers (29-4) will meet the winner of Wednesday's semifinal between Nashville and Johnston City in Saturday's championship, set for an 11:00 a.m. first pitch at Greg Hale Field.

Photos by Doug Daniels / PinckneyvilleSports.com

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