BELLEVILLE — With two outs, Belleville East's batters delivered with clutch hits time and time again.
Senior Haley Wroten and sophomore Lindsey Mossman both homered as the Lancers banged out 13 hits in beating the O'Fallon Panthers 13-0 Tuesday in a Southwestern Conference softball game.
"Everything just felt right for us,'' said Wroten, who also tripled and drove in five runs in the five-inning game. "The whole team just saw the ball well, and we killed it. We all produced, and we got 13 runs out of it. That's all you can hope for, right?''
The Lancers scored 12 of those 13 runs with two outs.
"I think things just worked in our favor today,'' East coach Natalie Peters said. "The hitters were seeing the ball really well and the majority of our runs came with two outs. It's that never-say-die attitude.
"We're working hard on trying to make every single at-bat count even if there is two outs.''
Mossman went 3-for-3 and scored three times. She hit a two-run homer off a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the first inning.
"That was amazing,'' Wroten said of Mossman's homer. "I'm so happy for her. She deserves that. It was perfect moment for her. That's O'Fallon. That's not just some small team, and she just ripped that ball.''
Wroten then hit a three-run homer with two outs in the second inning, sending a 1-0 pitch over the fence.
"I definitely thought that was a fly out to the center fielder,'' Wroten said of her home run.
Senior third baseman Andrea Roberts went 3-for-3 with three singles and senior pitcher Alison Mitts went 2-for-3 and reached base in all four of her trips to the plate.
Mitts threw a one-hit shutout with the lone hit being a double by Sam Busekrus with one out in fifth inning.
Mitts also struck out five, walked four and hit a batter with a pitch in the game.
"She was a little wild, but she threw great today,'' Peters said of Mitts. "I thought she definitely had command out there. She had a lot of runs to support to her so she could relax. She's been great this year, and we're looking for big things from her.''
The Lancers, who improved to 8-2 overall, 2-0 in the SWC, notched the win to start off one of their most challenging weeks of the season.
They'll play Gibault, Edwardsville and Columbia in the next three days.
"It's a very tough week, but this is what you play your regular season for,'' Peters said. "Get challenges throughout the year to prepare you for the end of the year.''
The Panthers dropped to 8-4 overall, 1-1 in the SWC.
"We just didn't apply in the game today what we practice every day,'' said O'Fallon coach Kelly Paproth, whose team committed three errors leading to five unearned runs. "Our motto is error-free ball, and that's not what we did today. They hit well, and we didn't apply what we practice.''
The Panthers will try to bounce back against Civic Memorial on Wednesday.
"I think this is a character-building day,'' Paproth said. "We have games the rest of the week. Sometimes you have those gut-checks and you have to learn how to work through things. Learn, apply and move on. Apply is the big word for today.''
The Lancers scored four runs in the first inning.
After Mitts led off with a single, O'Fallon starter Addie Barnouski struck out the next two batters before Roberts singled and Haley Gegelman hit a two-run single to center field.
"I thought Haley Gegelman's hit in the first inning was really a big deal because she made a great adjustment in that at-bat,'' Peters said. "That was a big hit to get things headed in the right direction.''
The Lancers added three more runs in the second inning on Wroten's homer.
Wroten had a two-run triple during five-run third-inning rally.
Tawnee Kramer had an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth inning to cap the scoring for the Lancers.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at email@example.com or 239-2522.