Charleston Middle softball coach Blain Mayhall said he was pleased by his team’s patience at the plate and his players’ aggressive base running.
More than anything, he said, he credited his pitching for keeping Mattoon Middle off-balance.
After falling behind in the first inning and entering the second inning tied, the game eventually fell into a familiar routine – Charleston Middle compiling a lot runs and allowing few hits in winning its third straight game to begin the season, beating the Wildcats, 12-2, on Tuesday afternoon at the CHS fields.
Charleston has scored 12 runs in all three games.
Charleston Middle pitchers had shut out its first two opponents, allowing only three total hits in 11 innings.
But that was not the case Tuesday.
Mattoon’s Blair Powers lined a single off Ava Goble to start the game, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a grounder to second and scored on a grounder to first – the first run CMS has yielded this season and only the second hit allowed by Goble, who one-hit Paris Crestwood last week.
The Trojans responded with two runs in the bottom of inning, but MMS tied the score in the second on two singles, which was enough to prompt Mayhall to change pitchers to Emma Morecraft, who induced the next two batters to ground out but a passed ball enabled the Wildcats to tie the score at 2.
The Wildcats managed just one more hit the rest of the game, a lead-off single by Powers in the fifth. CMS, meanwhile, scored twice to go ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the second and then exploded for three more runs in the fifth and five in the sixth.
Rylee Shrader ripped a double deep to left-center to score Blair Ritchey and end the game by the 10-run rule.
Mattoon coach Hannah Dow said her team did not bring enough energy into this game against their county rivals.
The Trojans’ Avery Beals went 4-for-4 and scored four runs, Ritchey drove in three runs and Goble tripled twice and had two RBIs.
Mattoon Middle next faces Teutopolis next Wednesday while Charleston Middle plays at home Thursday.