BELLEVILLE — Sound defense was the major reason for the Belleville West Maroons getting a shutout win.
Third baseman Danielle Touchette made several stellar defensive plays in support of pitcher McKenzie Sisk as the Maroons blanked the Collinsville Kahoks 4-0 Tuesday in a Southwestern Conference softball game.
"Their third baseman played a heck of a game today," said Collinsville coach Cindy Kolda, whose team outhit the Maroons 7-5 in the game. "She robbed us all day long."
Touchette had six assists and one putout in the game.
Touchette's shiniest web gem came in the fifth inning when she made a diving stab on a hard grounder by Audrey Allard and threw to first base for the out.
The ball made a loud pop as it hit Touchette's glove.
"It surprised me," Touchette said. "I didn't think I had it in my glove. It hit my hand, but they said it sounded like it hit my face."
The next hitter, Becky Gibbs, doubled to left field, but ended up being stranded at second base after Caitlyn Brombolich hit another grounder to Touchette.
"Dani did an excellent job on defense today," West coach Casey Garrett said. "We made a lot of great plays that kept them from scoring. We did an excellent job of fighting them off because they are a good hitting team."
The Maroons improved to 8-7 overall, 5-1 in the SWC. They beat the Kahoks for the second time four days as they registered an 8-2 win last Thursday.
The Kahoks dropped to 10-9 overall, 1-5 in the SWC.
"I don't what they've got on our batters, but their pitchers have done a good job against us," Kolda said. "We have to score some runs."
Sisk didn't strike out any batters, but she also didn't walk any batters. She moved the ball around, changed speeds and let her defense do the work for her.
"She did what she had to do to get the out," Garrett said.
The Maroons got a run in the second inning when Olivia Young walked and Cassandra Craig hit a two-out double down the left-field line.
The Maroons pushed across three insurance runs in the sixth.
Emily Fulton singled, Megan Glaeser reached on an error off a sacrifice bunt and Touchette singled to load the bases.
With one out, Young singled to right field to bring home two runs.
"Our defense did really well, but our offense was kind of shaky," Touchette said. "We put it all together when we needed to."
Another run scored on a groundout by Hannah Slimack.
Collinsville pitcher Sidney Bost struck out three, walked two and allowed only one earned run.
Pinch hitter Emily Lautz led off the seventh with a single for the Kahoks, but Allard then hit a line drive to Glaeser at shortstop for a double play.
"Hits aren't falling," Kolda said. "Audrey Allard hit the ball as hard as she possibly could twice, and didn't get a hit. I guess it just wanted our day."
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.