Mattoon Raven Morrison and Elizabeth Enlow pitched masterfully, but it was an odd play in extra innings that enabled the Green Wave to complete a doubleheader sweep of Taylorville on Saturday.
Enlow allowed a single to the second batter in the second game before retiring the next 15 batters she faced in a five-inning game shortened by the 10-run rule. Mattoon scored 13 runs on 14 hits for the 13-0 victory. Delainey Bryant, Tinley Risinger and Izzie Edwards had three hits apiece while Bryant scored four times and Edwards drove in three runs.
Enlow struck out five and did not allow a walk, needing only 54 pitches for the win.
Morrison kept the Tornadoes off-balance in the opener, not allowing a hit until a sixth inning grounder slipped past two Mattoon defenders into right field.
“Raven pitched a heck of a ball game and really set the tone for our defense today,” Mattoon coach Hannah Dow said. “She was hitting her spots and Averie Hout made some great blocks and catches behind the plate. We talked to the defense about making sure we stayed focused every pitch. Sometimes when your pitcher is striking a lot of girls out, it can be easy for the rest of the defense to take a pitch off. I thought the girls did a great job staying focused on that side today.”
The right-hander, who struck out 15, allowed only a walk the remainder of the game.
Mattoon scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning after Raven Morrison slapped a pitch to shortstop that caught two Green Wave runners off second and third bases. The shortstop’s throw to third went slightly wide, allowing Bryant to reach third safely and Hallee Perry to score the decisive run. Taylorville’s players seemed a little confused afterward.
“Hallee came in to run for Averie Hout and did a great job,” Dow said. “Delainey thought the ball got through the infield and Hallee saw me holding her up. As Delainey got in a rundown, Hallee took off towards home and ended up safe to win the first one today.”
Mattoon had just six hits, all singles, in the opener before exploding for 13 runs in four innings in the second game.
“In between games, we just talked about needing to relax and focus on our game,” Dow said. “We knew they were going to throw the same pitcher and had to make the adjustments at the plate. The energy in the dugout picked up a little bit and we started to have a little more fun. The bats started beating up and getting runners on base. We were being aggressive on the bases and taking the extra base every chance we could. Liz did a great job on the mound today, focusing on throwing strikes and trusting the defense behind her.”
Mattoon improves to 4-3 overall and 2-0 in the Apollo Conference. Only the opening games in doubleheaders count in the conference standings during this abbreviated season.