Ella Price admitted that her first two innings on the mound were rough Tuesday.
She allowed six runs across the first two innings to Effingham Junior High, which was highly unusual for the team’s ace – someone who had allowed a paltry 18 runs across her previous 65 innings in going 11-0.
But, she said, it was just one of those days.
She and her teammates kept pace, though, by scoring five runs across the opening two innings. A run in the third tied the score at 6.
CMS continued to grind away, scoring two more in the fifth and four in the sixth while Price settled down to throw a scoreless third to help the Trojans capture the regional middle school championship, 12-7.
“They responded,” CMS softball coach Blain Mayhall said, “and that’s all I can ask for as a coach.”
Raylin Cox, who has now allowed only six runs across 42 innings, tossed three shutout innings before Price re-entered to pitch the final 1 2/3 innings, striking out the final two batters with runners in scoring position.
“I just felt I was on it today,” Cox said.
Price, Lainie Keefer and Meg Ritchey each collected three of CMS’s 15 hits for the 20-1 squad. Price rapped a triple and scored three runs, Keefer also scored three times while Ritchey drove in four runs.
“We are not really a running team,” Mayhall said. “We like to hit. And we spend a lot of time on hitting. And they have hit the ball really well all year.”
The Trojans have a .672 slugging percentage, .462 batting average, .542 on-base percentage for an astounding team 1.217 OPS.
Keefer leads the team in slugging percentage (.944) and OPS (1.570). Ritchey (1.143) is among eight players with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage above 1.000.
CMS next plays at 10 a.m. Saturday in Champaign with a chance to head to the state tournament.