Charleston softball coach Blain Mayhall is pleased that his senior infielder disregarded his advice Saturday morning.
The Trojans were tied with Mattoon 1-1 after Karah Moore drilled a home run to lead off the inning. The two teams were also tied atop the Apollo Conference standings with identical 4-0 records. After a double by Clara Cox, Mikayla Lane popped out. The next batter fanned before Maci Mayhall looped a single over the shortstop to put Charleston ahead 2-1.
Before Ava Stephens walked to the plate, Mayhall said: No more pop flies. We need line drives.
Stephens, though, lofted the first pitch high in the air – and over the left field fence – to drive in three runs and give the Trojans a 5-1 lead they never relinquished.
Afterward, Mayhall said, smirking: “I told her I’d let that one slide for today.”
Charleston’s Karah Moore (14-0) also homered while shutting down Mattoon’s prolific offense for most of the day in scattering three hits and allowing two earned runs for the 7-3 victory in the opener of a doubleheader Saturday.
Charleston ripped 14 hits against Raven Morrison, one of the area’s best pitchers. The senior right-hander had flirted with two no-hitters in recent weeks and entered with an earned run average of 0.60.
Mattoon collected 14 hits and ripped two home runs in the second game to win 10-6. But in an odd year where the Apollo Conference decided to count only the first game of a doubleheader series toward championship standings, the Green Wave find themselves a game behind Charleston, which has two more series remaining against two teams sitting near the bottom of the standings.
Mattoon’s Ivie Edwards and Xylia Greeson each homered and collected three hits apiece in the second game. Edwards, Greeson and Morrison drove in two runs each.
Reagan McGahey, Ashlyn McPeak, Addison Shrader and Moore ripped homers for Charleston in the second game.