Raven Morrison’s no-hit bid might have lasted significantly shorter this time around, but the senior right-hander had no problem controlling Effingham once again in an IHSA regional softball opener at the Mattoon Roundhouse on Wednesday evening.
Morrison, who had not allowed a hit to Effingham for 4 1/3 innings on May 15, allowed a third-inning double – but not much else in leading Mattoon past Effingham 7-1 to send the Green Wave into the Region A final tonight against Charleston.
Morrison had not allowed a run in that 10-0 win a few weeks ago, although Effingham then scored nine unearned runs in the second game of that Saturday doubleheader.
“The energy in the dugout was there,” MHS coach Hannah Dow said. “We made small adjustments and played as a team.
Like the game two weeks, Morrison effectively confused and overpowered Effingham, striking out eight, walking one and scattering four hits in an 82-pitch effort.
“Raven threw a complete game and hit her spots on the mound today,” Dow said. “She was able to trust her defense in which they made some great plays behind her.”
The Hearts managed a run in the fourth on two singles and a wild pitch to close within 2-1. But Morrison then retired 10 of the next 11 batters and the Green Wave scored four more runs in the fifth inning highlighted by Emma Longcor’s two-run double and Tinley Risinger’s two-run single.
Morrison also threw first-pitch strikes to 18 batters.
Longcor drove in four total runs on two hits. Delainey Bryant, Risinger and Xylia Greeson also had two hits while Bryant scored three runs.
Today’s Region A final begins at 4:30 p.m. The winner between CHS-MHS faces the winner between Waterloo-Mt. Zion next Tuesday.
Mattoon and Charleston split a doubleheader 12 days ago. he Trojans had 14 hits against Morrison for a 7-3 victory in the opener before the Green Wave then had 14 hits for a 10-6 victory.
“Both teams are gonna hit the ball hard,” Dow said. “We both have great pitching, and it’s gonna come down to who shows up ready to play and execute the little things. It’s time for the girls to just go out and play and leave it all on the field.”