The Blackburn Softball Team swept the doubleheader of the home team, the MacMurray Highlanders, by the scores of 7-2, and 4-3 on Sunday April 7th, 2019. Games were played at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL.
The first game was dominated by the Beavers, where they out hit the Highlanders nine to three. Blackburn took the advantage in the third inning when Tessa Beckham (Litchfield, Illinois / Litchfield) reached on an error allowing Baylee Hughes (Carlinville, Illinois / Carlinville) to score. Then Brooke Daniels (Lapel, Indiana / Lapel) singled down the left field line to add to the Beavers lead 2-0. Blackburn added to their score in the fourth inning as Haley Shull (Taylorville, Illinois / Taylorville) grounded out to the shortstop to drive in a run, followed by an RBI single from Megan Moseley (Clinton, Indiana / Riverton Parke). This was followed by an RBI double from Halle Fransen (Pearl City, Illinois / Pearl City) to extend the lead 5-0. Beckham was dealing through four innings she allowed her first hit in the fourth inning and had seven strikeouts. After a couple quiet innings, the Beavers got some insurance runs as Beckham doubled to right field to drive in two more runs and the score was 7-0. MacMurray scored two runs in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 7-2. Beckham lead the Beavers with two RBI's. Beckham pitched a complete game allowing three hits and recorded eleven strikeouts. The losing pitcher was Lydia Hays, she pitched four innings allowing seven hits, three earned runs, two walks, and two strikeouts. Kiersten Hann pitched three innings in relief allowing two hits, two earned runs, and three walks.
The second game was much more exciting as both teams combined for a total of 18 hits. Blackburn took an early advantage as Mosley extended her six-game hitting streak by smacking a two-run homerun to right field. The Highlanders were eager to answer back as they had the bases loaded, but were unsuccessful to answer back. To begin the second inning Daniels slapped a homerun to add to Blackburn's lead, 3-0. In the third inning, the Beavers were threatening to score again as they had two baserunners in scoring position with one out. However, Blackburn was unable to muster any runs across. In the fourth inning MacMurray was in business with no outs and two runners on as Haley Icenogle hit into a double play to ruin any changes of scoring. In the sixth inning Abby Frerichs (Litchfield, Illinois / Litchfield) reached on an error to score Briahna Whelan (Prairie du Rocher, Illinois / Red Bud) who pitch-ran for Fransen earlier in the inning. The score was 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth. With runners on the corners, Devin Battefeld doubled to left-center to drive in MacMurray's first run. Icenogle added another run with a sac fly to left field to cut the lead in half 4-2 after six innings. In the seventh inning Lydia Hays scored on a wild pitch to bring the Highlanders within one run. With one out Beckham came in to pitch for the Beavers. With the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at second, Beckham got a much-needed strikeout and caused a ground-out to win the game. The Beavers were led by Mosley's two-run homerun. The winning pitcher for the Beavers was Hughes as she pitched six and a third innings allowing twelve hits, three earned runs, and one strikeout. Beckham recorded the save by pitching two-thirds of an inning. Kiersten Hann received the loss in relief for the Highlanders. Hann pitched three innings allowing one hit, one earned run, and three walks.
Blackburn is playing some tremendous softball as they have won seven in a row. The Beavers completed the four-game season sweep of the Highlanders, which is the first time since 2011. The Beavers are currently in sixth place in the conference, and with ten conference games left in the season, they still have a chance to win conference.
The Beavers are 10-12 (SLIAC 5-5). The Highlanders are 3-19 (SLIAC 2-8).
UP NEXT: Blackburn will travel to Greenville, IL to take on the Greenville Panthers on April 10th, first pitch 3:00pm.