It’s been a long time coming but this past Saturday Tuscola’s Softball team finally got their chance to take the field. Seniors weren’t sure they would get a season, it’s like a redshirt season for the sophomore’s who weren’t able to don the black and gold last year and their season opener was in doubt because of a dismal weather forecast. All that aside they made the most of their venture back on to the dirt taking a pair to kickoff the 2021 season.
Seniors Jessie Martin, Kendal Morgan, Kaitlyn Reifsteck, Kendyl Ring, and Marissa Russo led the way giving up just one run on the day. Reifsteck collected both wins in the circle. The Eastern Illinois commit worked 13 innings giving up one run, two walks and six hits while striking out 30 on the day upending North Central High School from Farmersburg, Indiana 11-1 in the opener and Arcola in the night cap 2-0.
Classmate Marissa Russo finished off the battery sitting behind the dish for both games. Russo had a day with the bat as well delivering three doubles and four RBI’s. Ring, and junior Kerri Pierce banged out three hits as well but it was sophomore Ella Boyer and Reifsteck residing at the top of the list with four hits on the day including a standup triple on the first at bat wearing the black and gold.
Tuscola alum Samantha Ledbetter-Green returned to town with her Lady Hawk from North Central the ex Lady Warrior slugger brought an aggressive offensive attack that showed early putting three on in the top of the first scoring one. Reifsteck worked out of a jam striking out the side and never really looked back, scattering 4-hits out over the next five frames en-route to 13 K’s in the game striking out the side in order two more times.
Boyer broke the ice for the Warriors with a one out triple in the bottom of the first and scored two batters later on a double to right center by second baseman Taylor Musgrave. Martin took one for the team in between the duo stole second and scored on the double as well making it 2-0. Reifsteck reached and gave way to Zoey Thomason on the base paths who swiped a base and scored on a two-RBI double by Wilcox also pushing Morgan across after reaching with a walk. Wilcox found her way home on back-to-back singles by Ring and Boyer. Boyer was three for four on the day with two RBI’s.
Reifsteck singled in the second and gave way to Thomason once more who scored thanks to a single by Pierce and a two-RBI double by Russo pushing it to 9-1 Warriors. They added one each in the fifth and one more in the sixth ending it early by the ten-run rule. Ring singled, stole second and scored on a single by Boyer in the fifth and Reifsteck doubled and scored on Russo’s second two-bagger of the game giving the Warriors their second win of the early season.
Reifsteck fanned the side in the first and Ring scored after a leadoff double, a stolen base and a sac fly by Boyer giving the starting pitcher all she would need. The righty slinger actually set the first 11 to step to the plate by herself on her way to 17 K’s in the contest ending the day just two miscues shy of a perfect game posting the no-hitter in a pitchers duel with the Riders Kylee Hohlbaugh. Hohlbaugh was stingy as well scattering out six hits over six innings while striking out six. Russo doubled to open the bottom of the fifth, gave way to courtesy runner Makenna Fiscus who went to third on a ground ball by Ring and trotted home on a single by Boyer to left adding an insurance run.