Tuscola’s softball team played their second opener of the year eight games into the season taking on Clinton in the first Central Illinois Conference skirmish Tuesday, March 26. The Warriors rode the arm of sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Reifsteck.
The second year hurler fanned ten while scattering four hits and a walk out over seven innings of action to collect the victory for the black and gold. She needed just 89 pitches in all, 62 of which were strikes.
Clinton put one on the board first to break up 0-0 tie on a pair of hits in the fourth scoring one before Reifsteck set down the final two of the inning on eight pitches to keep the Maroons lead to just one. Junior Abbey Jacob and sophomore Jessie Martin came up big with the bats in the next stanza each driving in a run in the 2-1 thriller. Jacob tripled and scored, while Martin sent a ball deep to center, pushing across Jacob in the two-run fifth frame with a sac fly. Reifsteck set the table with a lead off walk, stole second, and scored on Jacob’s three-bagger.
From there the Warrior hurler leaned on her defense. Martin swooped in on a bunt from the hot corner and then stabbed a scorching line drive right back at her one batter later setting Clinton down in the sixth. Reifsteck induced three fly balls in the seventh, one to Claire Ring in right, one to Jacob in center and one more to Sydney Watson at second, moving Tuscola to 1-0 in the CIC.