Lancers open playoffs with convincing win over Kahoks

News-DemocratMay 27, 2014 

— There were no signs of postseason nerves for thje Belleville East Lancers.

Tawnee Kramer's two-run triple in the second inning helped spark the Lancers to a 11-1 victory over the Collinsville Kahoks on Tuesday in the Class 4A Belleville East Softball Regional.

"Any game in the playoffs, they have jitters, but definitely in the first one,'' East coach Natalie Peters said. "It's the start of your new season, and I'm proud of the way the girls handled it.''

Kramer, a slap-bunter, drove the ball into left-center field.

"That was a huge hit by Tawnee,'' Peters said. "She works hard all the time, and it was nice to see her come through in that situation.''

Kramer's triple highlighted a three-run rally in the second inning, and the Lancers added five more runs in the third inning.

"After I got on, everybody else started hitting, and it was just crazy,'' Kramer said. "I think I put the energy in it, and everybody just joined together and got the job done.''

The Lancers ( 27-9) will play either the O'Fallon Panthers (23-10) or the Belleville West Maroons (15-16) at 11 a.m. Saturday in the championship game of the Belleville East Regional.

O'Fallon plays Belleville West at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Kahoks ended their season with a 17-19 record.

They Kahoks to the Lancers for the third time this season. They fell 10-0 on April 17 and 5-3 on May 16.

Collinsville coach Cindy Kolda went with Addison Wickiser on the mound after her performance against the Lancers on May 16.

"That was a game that we had a chance to win the last inning with our 3-4 up,'' Kolda said. "That was probably the best time we played them. Today, we didn't hit the ball very well.''

East pitcher Alison Mitts allowed only two hits -- an infield single by Alex Holten in the second innining and RBI by Becky Gibbs in the third inning.

Mitts struck out two and walked one.

Mitts also drove in four runs batting in the leadoff spot. She had a pair of two-run singles.

"We've actually thought about moving Alison around (in the lineup) a little bit just to get her some more RBI situations,'' Peters said. "The bottom of our order did a great job getting on base tonight, and she was able to pick up some RBIs there.''

The Lancers capitialized on three errors, three walks and a couple bad decisions on bunts by the Kahoks to get their offense rolling.

"I actually think they only hit the ball hard one time -- the triple from a slapper -- and other than that we had quite a few missed opportunities defensively,'' Kolda said. "Easy outs that we did not take advantage of. Defensively, it just wasn't a very strong showing.''

Karmer drove in Andrea Roberts and Lindsey Mossman with her triple, and then she came home on a ground out to the first baseman Haley Gegelman.

The Kahoks got on the scoreboard in the top of the third when Sidney Bost walked, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kadie Ringering and scored Gibbs' double to left field.

Haley Wroten, Mossman, Gegelman and Mits all had singles in the bottom of the third inning as Lancers plated five runs to go up 8-1.

Three more runs in the fifth enabled the Lancers to end the game by way of the 10-run rule.

Gegelman walked and Ryley Blomberg reached on a fielder's choice as the Kahoks failed to get a force play at second base.

Mitts singled in two runs, and then Erinn Henry singled in pinch runner Brianna Baston with the final run.

'We told the girls, 'Put the ball in play and good things will happen,''' Peters said. "We really tried to limit strikeouts and popups. Put it in play, and put it in play hard and get our bunts down. I thought up and down the lineup we did a really good job of that today.''

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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