It was a busy week for Tuscola’s softball team.
The Lady Warriors put three more check marks in the win column this past week posting a pair in the strong Central Illinois Conference and one outside the league. Tuscola opened with an impressive 6-0 victory over a very good Central A&M squad on Monday the 22nd. They followed that up with a second CIC beating Warrensburg-Lathem 6-1 on Wednesday. Sandwiched in the middle was a 14-4 come from behind victory against Neoga.
The ladies in black and gold gave up just four earned runs in 19 innings of action by leaning on Kaitlyn Reifsteck and Ashton Smith in the circle. Reifsteck fired the shut out against the Lady Raiders, scattering three hits out over seven innings of action while striking out eight.
Smith took home the win at Ervin Park against Neoga. The senior allowed four runs, three earned, to cross the dish in three frames. Reifsteck threw the last two in relief allowing three to reach safely while fanning one. She also collected the victory against the Lady Cardinals on Wednesday, posting double digit K’s striking out 11 in the seven-inning affair.
Monday, April 22
It started as advertised with both pitchers dominating the diamond as Reifsteck squared off with A&M’s Allie Dunn. The two hurlers kept it scoreless until the bottom of the third when the Warriors elected to play small ball. Freshman Taylor Musgrave beat out a bunt after a Raider bobble, moved on double by Natalie Bates, and scored on a bunt single squeeze by Kendyl Ring. Bates then crossed the dish on a squeeze bunt by Jackie Watson who advanced to second on the play. It was then Jessie Martin pushing across Ring on a yet another bunt. Reifsteck drew a walk to load the bases, and Smith pulled off the perfect push bunt that beat the force play on courtesy runner Sophie James at the plate as the Warriors scored five runs on five bunts, a walk, and a double by Bates.
Musgrave led off the frame, as well, only this time it wasn’t small ball. The first year varsity player hit her second homerun of the year to make it 6-0 Warriors. A&M threatened in the fifth only to watch Martin fire a strike to first erasing a would be base runner before Sidney Watson threw behind a runner at second, hanging the runner up for sister Jackie to tag her out as the Warriors collected their 21st win of the season.