The Waterloo High School softball team was all smiles last Wednesday after an 8-4 conference stomping over Mascoutah after two losses in a row last week.
Waterloo (12-9, 4-2 in the Mississippi Valley Conference) put it away early against the Indians (3-22, 1-7), who are in last place in the MVC, after four runs in each of the first two innings.
The Bulldogs’ Bridget Bushong led off on the mound. She went four innings with four hits against her and five strikeouts before fellow senior Tiffany Harbison entered the game in relief.
Harbison also did well at the plate against Mascoutah, going a perfect 2-for-2 on the day with two RBIs. Upperclassmen Annie Crouch has also been lighting it up with her bat. She went 3-for-3, hitting in three WHS runners and charting two doubles.
“Annie continues to be a defensive and offensive threat… She is confident and relaxed in tough situations and that is the type of player you want in those situations,” Waterloo softball coach Sarah Renner said about her .569 hitter. “Due to injuries, Tiffany hasn’t been able to always hit in past years and she is definitely taking advantage of the situation now. She is hitting well and driving runs in, which can make her job on the mound easier.”
The Bulldogs were one of the lucky ones this weekend, getting in a few games in the Alton Round Robin Tournament.
The first game against East Alton-Wood River went off without a hitch, with WHS plowing through the Oilers, 7-1.
The Bushong/Harbison pitching duo ruled the mound once again, with Harbison taking home the “W” with eight strikeouts while allowing just two hits.
“Tiffany and Bridget have been a nice combo for us,” Renner explained. “They have different movement on their pitches, which causes our opponents to have to make adjustments. It is comforting to have two seniors with experience.”
Sophomore Kylie Albrecht stepped up at the plate for the ‘Dogs, going 3-for-3 with an RBI double against Wood River.
“Our underclassmen are competitors and are doing a great job of filling in any holes we might have,” Renner said. “Kylie, a two-year starter, is our lead off and splits time between left and second base. Taylor Yearian, a three-year starter, hits fourth and plays first. Both Kylie and Taylor Y. are confident players and fit right in with our seniors.”
Other underclassmen have also gotten substantial playing time, Renner said, including: Aimee Dillenberger (outfield), Katy Polacek (second base), Julia Probst (outfield), Jordan Mansfield (catcher) and Mallory Meyer (pitcher).
But the championship against Alton was a heartbreaker for the Bulldogs, in a back-and-forth contest against the Redbirds (21-4). In the sixth inning, WHS scored five runs to Alton’s four, but in the hour and a half time limit the tournament rules placed on the game, the contest was called with the final at 9-8.
“Alton is a strong hitting team and are having a great season,” Renner told the Republic-Times. “Brittany Argus had a two-out double to keep the rally going as well. Though we weren’t able to hold on, our outfield made some great catches and our top through bottom hit the ball well.”
Argus had two hits in three at bats in the game, with two RBIs and two doubles. Crouch had a good tournament, hitting 5-for-6 in the Round Robin with two RBIs and two doubles on the day.The Waterloo High School girls softball team celebrated twin sisters Kady and Abby Cecena’s birthday in their win against Mascoutah last Wednesday. Kady lost her twin sister in a car crash in August of this school year. The team wore arm bands with the initials A.C. and pink ribbons in their hair in honor of Abby, while the fans donned pink apparel. Pictured, from left, Brittany Argus, Kady Cecena, Tiffany Harbison and Madison Kruse show off their A.C. armbands. (Teryn Schaefer photo)
Harbison took the Alton loss and had 14 hits against her in the heavily offensive game.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to play at Highland on Monday but the game was postponed to Tuesday due to wet field conditions. Results were not available by press time, but can be found at RepublicTimes.net/Sports/.
WHS also had another schedule change this week, as they were scheduled to take on Chester away Thursday but the game was cancelled, and the Gibault game rained out earlier in the year at home was rescheduled for that day instead.
In other softball news…
Columbia advanced their record to 23-3 and 5-1 in the Cahokia Conference in a blow-out, shut-out against Wesclin (7-9, 1-6) last Thursday in five innings just as the skies opened up.
The Eagles slated one home run off the bat of Rachel Garcia, six doubles, 11 RBIs and 16 hits as a team against the Warriors. Brianna Weilbacher got the win on the mound for the Eagles, tossing an impressive 11 Ks.
CHS was scheduled to take on Wesclin at home again Monday, but it was pushed back to Thursday.
The Eagles are in a close race for the conference behind Red Bud, who is currently 7-1 and 18-4 overall.
But the Eagles lead the conference by far on the offensive and defensive courts. CHS has tallied 276 runs so far this season, out-scoring the second team by 117 runs (Carlyle, 159 runs). They have also only allowed 2.1 runs per game compared to Red Bud’s 2.9.
There are tentatively seven games left on the schedule for the remainder of the regular season.
Meanwhile, Gibault (17-10) delivered a 16-1 stomping at Metro East Lutheran as one of the few teams playing Monday after the weekend rains.
Gibault bookended the box score nicely, scoring four runs in the first inning and ending the game strong with seven runs in the seventh inning, while sprinkling in five runs throughout the game.
Morgan Weber had a nice outing, batting in four Hawks runners in her four hits at five at bats. She also had a double against the Knights. Lauren Prader (2-for-2) and Kelly Kapp (3-for-3) each went perfect at the plate. Noelle Davis and Weber split the duties on the mound.
The Hawks hosted Dupo on Tuesday, results were not available by press time. The team is scheduled to have its senior night Wednesday against Sparta.