EDWARDSVILLE — Edwardsville's Kallen Loveless was proud of both of her pitching and her hitting performances Saturday.
Loveless picked up the win on the mound in the first game and went 6-for-7 at the plate on the day as the Tigers spilt a doubleheader against the Normal Community Ironwomen, 13-3 and 7-5, in a matchup of two traditionally strong softball programs.
"I was pleased with both,'' Loveless said. "They're a good hitting team, so pitching-wise I just kept hitting my spots and trying to get them to ground out and let my defense work for me.
"Then hitting, I just felt confident there. I wanted to get a hit every time, and that was my goal.''
Loveless came close to her goal. She drove in three runs in the first game with a double and a single and she collected four hits in the second game.
"She had a good day at the plate, and she actually threw the ball pretty well today,'' Edwardsville coach Lori Blade said. "I'm pleased with where she is at. Her mentality is really good right now. She has to continue to mentor these young pitchers and bring them along a little bit.''
Sophomore pitcher Allison Loehr started the second game for the Tigers. Sophomore Jennifer Kocevar relieved Loehr in the sixth inning.
Loehr allowed four runs in the four runs in the first inning, but then settled down and held the Ironwomen scoreless over the next four innings before allowing three more runs in the sixth.
"You can't spot them three or four in the first inning,'' Blade said. "That's tough with them because they are going to make plays defensively and you know they are going to score more runs. That really put us behind the 8-ball there.''
The Tigers still had a chance to pull out the win after loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Normal freshman pitcher Keegan Fields got out of the jam by getting a looping liner that second baseman Laken Egenes caught over her shoulder and a grounder back to the mound that was turned into a 1-2-3 double play.
"We lost to (Normal University High) last night on the same play,'' Normal coach Bob Grimes said. "We had the bases loaded and we hit it to the pitcher, who threw it home and then they threw it to first for the double play. It's nice to be on the other side for a change.''
The Ironwomen now are 4-4 on the season, while the Tigers are 9-2.
We competed well, we didn't quit the second game when we got down,'' Blade said. "We battled back every time, and we threatened in the seventh inning. That's all I can ask for. I am disappointed that we gave up seven runs, but they're young (pitchers).
"Today, I was pleased that we only had one error behind them. It has been a problem with errors.''
The Tigers banged out 12 hits against Normal ace Ali Domkuski, who is headed to Illinois State, in six innings in the first game.
Rachel Anderson went 3-for-3 and scored four times, while Hayli Green and Torrie Kruse each drove in three runs.
"I think the biggest thing for us is being disciplined and waiting for that pitch that is over the plate to hit,'' Loveless said of her team's hitting.
The Tigers had 14 hits in the second game against Fields (2-0), but they stranded eight runners, had a runner picked off third and hit into the game-ending double play.
Grimes said he feared an offensive onslaught in the second game after seeing what the Tigers did to Domkuski in the first game.
"I wouldn't have expected that with her having eight of the same girls that she had in the lineup for the first game,'' Grimes said of Tigers scoring only six runs against Fields. "It's softball, I can't figure it out.''
Domkuski had two doubles and two RBIs in the first game and Elexis Swartzentruber had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs in the second game for the Ironwomen.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.