Mattoon relied on two strong pitching performances to win its first games of the season in a sweep of defending Apollo Conference champs Mt. Zion.
Raven Morrison delivered an 83-pitch gem in the opener, allowing only four hits, one earned run and no walks in the 4-2 victory.
Elizabeth Enlow scattered six hits in the second game, a 6-1 victory in which she struck out four and walked one.
“The pitchers came out throwing strikes and trusted their defense,” said Mattoon coach Hannah Dow.
The Green Wave are now 2-3 after struggling without a healthy or complete roster that included players still competing in other sports. Mattoon had been outscored 26-5 and outhit 32-12 in those three games against St. Anthony, Normal and Normal West.
Mattoon tripled its hit total and doubled its run total in Saturday’s doubleheader, rapping 12 hits in each game.
“They made the adjustments at the plate and the communication on defense was key,” Dow said. “I’m so proud of this group for showing some fight and leaving everything they had out on that field today. I’m excited to see this group continue to grow and really reach the potential that they have.”
Delainey Bryant went 4-for-8 and drove in four runs in the two games while Xylie Greeson, Emma Longcur, Ivie Edwards and Morrison had three hits apiece over the two games. Kamryn Conlin went 3-for-3 in the second game.
“A big difference in today’s game was that we didn’t play scared,” Dow said. “The girls came out with a lot of energy. They had each other’s backs, they executed the little things, and, most importantly, had a blast doing it.”
Mattoon next travels to play Centralia on Thursday before returning home Saturday for a doubleheader with Taylorville.