BELLEVILLE — Southwestern Illinois College ace Jordin Toenjes allowed six hits in a complete-game effort on Thursday to help lift the Blue Storm to a 3-1 win over Rend Lake College.
Playing just its eighth game of the season, the Blue Storm (5-3) got a run-scoring single from freshman Elexus Lohman and played its version of small ball to perfection as it posted the Great Rivers Athletic Conference victory.
SWIC also received help from the visiting Warriors who ran themselves out the game with a pair of baserunning blunders in the seventh inning.
Errors by SWIC third baseman Amanda Mitchell and shortstop Mone'y Black put runners on first and second with nobody out.
With a 1-0 count on the Fallon Clayton, Warriors rightfielder Taylor Cicardi attempted to steal third base but was easily thrown out by SWIC catcher Jackie Elmore for the first out of the inning.
Three pitches later Clayton hit a slow roller between first and second base, that the Rend Lake baserunner was called out on for interfering with the Blue Storm player attempting to make the play.
"We got a coupe of breaks in the last inning on their (Rend Lake's) baserunning errors," Blue Storm coach Kathy Bernal said. "Where the girl (Cicardi) was going with runners on first and second with nobody out, I have no idea. I think maybe she thought the pitch got away from the catcher. But in that situation, you've got to be sure. I bet their coach was livid.''
Taking advantage of the Rend Lake miscues, Toenjes got Kendyl Ahrens to fly out to rightfielder Tara Hubert to clinch her fifth straight win of the season without a loss.
"Jordin doesn't throw that hard, but she moves the ball and changes speeds. When she keeps the ball down in the strike zone, she's tough to hit,'' Bernal said. "We played good defense until the seventh inning. But you have to make those plays and we've got to do a better job. But we didn't let it snowball either. Jordin was able to maintain her composure and we closed it out."
The Blue Storm managed only five hits off Rend Lake pitcher Amanda Holloway but still scratched across three runs.
SWIC took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Bailey Setzekorn walked and advanced to second base on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Erika Laumbattus.
Elexus Lohman then hit a ground ball that second baseman Molly Whaley booed for an error, allowing Setzekorn to score on the play.
SWIC expanded its lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning when Black singled and went to second base after Laumbattus drew a walk.
Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch and Lohman followed with her run coring single which gave SWIC a two run edge.
Seconds later, SWIC worked the delayed double steal to perfection with the third run scoring on the play.
Edwards cut the SWIC lead to 3-1 with an RBI single in the fifth inning, but Rend Lake would get no closer.
"Offensively we're still not wining the bats like I had hoped. But its tough to get your timing down when you are playing once every four of five day like we have,'' Bernal said. "Hopefully today was the start of warmer weather and we'll be able to play more often.
"I'm hoping so. We've got a stretch next week when we're playing five days in a row.''
Contact reporter Dean Criddle a 239-2661 or email@example.com