BELLEVILLE — It was a bounce-back game for the Belleville West Maroons and pitcher McKenzie Sisk.
Sisk, in her first full game on the mound since returning from an ankle injury, didn't allow a run over the final five innings as the Maroons beat the Althoff Crusaders 8-2 Wednesday in girls softball.
The win helped erase the bad taste of a 19-0 loss to Belleville East on Tuesday out of the Maroons' mouths.
"I'm just glad that we came back with a win tonight," Sisk said. "I was really excited about our win. I think we can play harder, but I was excited."
Sisk threw a couple of innings against East, but she hadn't thrown a full game since spraining her ankle.
"It's been like two weeks," Sisk said. "I felt like I was ready. There is a lot to improve on, but I felt like I did OK for my first game back."
Sisk allowed seven hits, while striking out five and walking one.
"First game back, I wanted her to get some experience hitting her spots again," West coach Casey Garrett said. "She did a pretty good job for her first game back."
The Maroons (6-7) fell behind 2-0 as the Crusaders (2-11) scored a run in each of the first two innings.
"We came out flat again today," Garrett said. "We're not finding a way to get ourselves pumped up and focused and mentally prepared to play these games. We eventually got a little momentum."
Carly Bowman doubled and scored on a throwing error by the shortstop in the first inning and Tori Lanaghan doubled and scored on a squeeze bunt by Kate Donaho in the second.
The Maroons got a run in the third inning on an RBI single by Megan Glaeser.
West rallied for six runs in the fifth to pull ahead 7-2.
Alliyah St. John started the inning with a single and Emily Fulton drew a walk.
Danielle Touchette and Hannah Biermann had back-to-back singles and Juanda Eisemann drove in a run with a double to highlight the inning.
Althoff freshman starter Kennedy Sims ran into more control problems in the sixth as she walked the first three batters to start the inning.
"With West being as good as they usually, I wanted Kennedy who throws a little harder to pitch," Althoff coach Carol Belleville said. "It was a big game for the seniors, and I think she felt like she let them down a little bit. I said, 'You know what, you are freshman.'
"Pitchers often think they have the game on their shoulders. It's a learning experience for her."
Lindsey Harris replaced Sims and walked Glaeser to force in a run. Another run scored on an error, but Harris struck out three batters to limit the damage.
"I'm happy," Belleville said. "This is the first close or semi-close game that we've had. We've either been blown up or semi-blew out the other team. It was good for my girls."
Contact reporter Steve Korte at email@example.com or 239-2522.