By Mike Monahan

Mattoon snapped a five-game losing streak, scoring twice in the first inning en route to a 3-1 victory over Arcola on Tuesday.

The Greenwave scored in the first when Aubry Cross and Liz Enlow singled and stole bases to put runners on second and third followed by a double by Sophie Artis that scored them both.

“It (scoring early) has been kind of hit and miss,” said Mattoon coach Jennifer Saucier. “I think most of our wins have come from walking up later in the game. We are definitely capable of doing it (scoring early) we just have to show it a little more.”

In the previous five games, Mattoon had been outscored 24-15.

Mattoon’s defense and pitching came through when needed Tuesday, stranding 11 Arcola runners on base, seven in scoring position. 

“Our defense has definitely stepped up this year and made some huge plays to get us into position to not let runs score and helps us out when it comes to that,” said Saucier. “I have been very pleased with that. Our pitchers got some big outs themselves and that definitely helps out.”

Arcola scored its only run on four walks. 

Hannah Griffin then relieved Lexi Otto, closing the inning on a strikeout and a fly ball to right field. Griffin allowed just three hits struck out seven and issued two walks over 5⅔ innings.

Arcola, meanwhile, retired 11 of the next 13 batters after the second run scored for the Green Wave. 

But Mattoon scored once more in the fifth when Kamryn Conlin tripled and scored on a single by Cross.

“It (the third run) was definitely big,” said Saucier. “I was kind of hoping we could have shown a little bit more because I think we definitely are capable of showing more than what we did today. We have to get it out of our heads and be the team that we were at the beginning of the season.”

Mattoon had seven different players collect a hit. 

Said Arcola coach Cara Roberts: “I told the girls one of the things we have to execute on is when we get walked and have runners on.”

Neither team committed an error. 

“Defensively, I thought we did really well, including pitching,” said Roberts. “Kiera pitched really well. Our defense backed her up. When they put the ball in play we got the outs we needed to get. I thought we were competitive today.”

Arcola left at least one runner on in each of the first six innings.

Mattoon (3-5) returns to Apollo Conference play today (Wednesday) at 4 p.m. against Lincoln in a doubleheader.  Arcola fell to 3-6. 

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Winning pitcher: Hannah Griffin 5 ⅔ innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 7 strikeouts, 2 walks; Starter: Lexi Otto 1 inning, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 strikeouts, 5 walks

MATTOON: Kam Conlin 1-for-3, RBI; Aubry Cross 1-for-2, 2 stolen bases, run; Liz Enlow 1-for-2, stolen bae, run; Sophie Artis 1-for-3, double, 2 RBIs; Griffin 1-for-2, double; Aubrie Phillips 1-for-3; Hallee Perry 1-for-2, triple, run