Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski Jr.
You could forgive Charleston pitcher Karah Moore for giving up two early runs to Robinson on Wednesday afternoon.
The senior hadn’t pitched for a week, since a 10-3 win against Windsor/Stewardson-Strasburg on April 19.
The Lake Land commit gave up two runs in the bottom of the first inning, then settled down and helped herself by breaking a 2-all tie with a grand slam to center field in a nine-run fourth inning that enabled the Trojans to rout the Maroons,13-3 at Trojan Hill.
The Trojans are now 15-2. Robinson drops to 11-7.
“I haven’t pitched for few days,” she said. “I’m not going to use that as an excuse, I just didn’t come out as hard as I usually do.”
Moore gave up back-to-back singles to Paige Sanders and and Maci Smith before Paige Kelly doubled them in. Moore got back on track the rest of the way, going six innings giving up only one more run on eight total hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
“I just told her to get out of her head and throw strikes like she can,” Charleston senior catcher Erin Blair said. “She has it in her. She always has. She always will.”
Moore doubled in freshman Avery Beals to cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the first.
Sophomore Brie Tomlinson tied the scored, knocking in Blair after the catcher had singled and stolen second base. With the bases loaded four batters later, Moore blasted an 0-1 pitch over the right field fence for her fourth home run of the season, swinging the momentum back to Charleston.
“I just wanted to hit one run in,” Moore said. “I wanted make some good contact on it. We needed some kind of change of mometum because the other side had it most of the game so far. I wanted to change that. I was just hoping for a base hit.”
Blair came to the plate again in the fourth inning and hit a home run of her own, tying her for second on the team with Moore. Senior Kailyn Wilson leads with five.
The Trojans now have four multihomer games on the season, the last being against Mahomet-Seymour on April 14.
Moore went 2-5 with five RBIs and a run scored. Blair went 1-2 with two walks, two RBIs, and two runs scored.
“We don’t rely on the home runs,” Moore said. “They’re definitely a good touch when we start hitting. I think so far we definitely have come together on hitting really well. I’m really proud of our as our batting averages really good compared to last year.”
Robinson’s Eva Hermann lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs, four earned on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in the loss.
Blair said the feel of the game swung back to Charleston with Moore’s grand slam.
“The momentum changed when Karah hit that grand slam,” Blair said. “From there we were seeing the ball. It was great.”
Blair said the team’s success is due in part to seeing the ball.
“I think it’s just seeing the bat and the ball,” Blair said. “And if you’re on, you’re on. And we all seem to be on and it’s great.”