By Kyle Daubs
Three runs in one inning for a come-from-behind 4-2 victory Monday over St. Anthony.
Then a nine-run last-inning rally Tuesday to upend Terre Haute North, 11-5.
Plus, a four-run rally Thursday in the fifth to overcome Newton for an 8-2 win.
Could this be the beginning of what is yet to come for Charleston on their quest to win the Apollo?
Coach Blain Mayhall knows the potential is there, having three players signed at the collegiate level. But the 6-1 Trojans have yet to piece everything together. With the Apollo Conference season set to begin Saturday at Teutopolis, the Trojans will get their first test.
“We just have to focus on what we do,” said Mayhall. “We have a very talented team that is still learning to play together. Consistency is the key for us in all aspects of the game. We have the potential to be a potent offensive attack. Once the girls believe that, it will be fun to watch.”
Karah Moore will get the nod Saturday in the doubleheader opener with only the first game counting towards the conference standings. Moore is 5-0 with a 1.57 earned-run average, striking out 33 and walking nine. The sophomore has pitched 40 of Charleston’s 47 innings.
“We have been really solid defensively and in the pitching circle,” said Mayhall. “Our bats have been hot and cold. We seem to wait a bit longer in the game to have that big inning. Our defense and pitching keeps us in close games and, eventually, we have had that breakthrough inning. When they finally get it going, that inning or two proves to be exciting. I’m also very impressed with our base running and how the girls pick each other up and cheer each other on.”
On Wednesday, senior Reagan McGahey came through clutch with a two-run single to give Charleston the lead in a 4-2 victory. Ashlynn McPeak then hit a home run that helped kick start the rally Thursday night.
Seniors McPeak, McGahey and Ava Stephens have posted impressive power numbers. McPeak has ripped two homers and six extra-base hits in 27 at-bats for an astounding .962 slugging percentage, followed closely by McGahey at .913. Stephens, who had a team-high 10 runs batted in and a homer, is at. 727.
McGahey also has a .642 on-base percentage for a 1.555 OPS while McPeak, whose OBP is .592, is at 1.554 for OPS.
“Our three seniors have been the most consistent at the plate and continue to be leaders for this team,” said Mayhall.
Sophomore Kailyn Wilson has two homers for a .590 slugging percentage.
Teutopolis will be without its two best hitters, losing both its second and third basemen in one game. Coach Crystal Tipton says simply that the Wooden Shoes are “dealing with some injuries” as of late.
One Teutopolis player required 24 stitches and a wire to put her tooth back in place after a ball hit her in the mouth and the other player is waiting on an MRI to diagnose an injure knee.
Said Tipton: “We had some girls step up in our win in last night’s game and, hopefully, that continues.”
Teutopolis (3-3) features only a few holdovers from a team that won an IHSA Regional Championship in 2019, including second baseman Lexie Niebrugge, whose availability is in question.
“For us to win the game Saturday, we will need to eliminate the mental mistakes that we have been making and will need to get the big hits with runners on base,” said Tipton. “Charleston is always a strong, well-coached team, and I know it will take our best to beat them.”
Who: Charleston @ Teutopolis
Records: Charleston (5-1, 0-0), Teutopolis (3-3, 0-0)
Where: Teutopolis High School
Time: 11 a.m
Notes: First game counts towards the Apollo standings, while the second game counts towards their overall record.
Teutopolis Players to Watch: Lexie Niebrugge (Second Base), Tia Probst (First Base), Daisha Piedra (Third Base), Emily Konkel (Shortstop)