The O’Fallon High girls softball squad’s weekly diamond action started on a positive note with a 5-1 conference victory over the Collinsville Kahoks.
Hhowever, by Tuesday of this week, the mood in the Lady Panther camp soured as the local squad dropped consecutive close games to remain on the south side of the .500 mark.
After suffering a 10-8 loss to Freeburg, the OTHS squad was hoping to get back on track when they traveled to Belleville East on Tuesday afternoon. For most of the game, it appeared the Lady Panthers would accomplish their task as they scored single runs in the first and third innings to ease into a 2-1 lead.
O’Fallon starter Addison Barnouski held the host Lancers in check into the middle innings, but Belleville East knotted the score at 2-2 by pushing across a run in the bottom of the fifth. The Panthers responded to the challenge immediately, forging back into the lead in the top of sixth with a single tally.
Belleville East returned the favor by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth the take 5-3 lead. Coach Kelly Paproth’s squad did not go down without a fight. After falling behind with only one more at-bat, the O’Fallon squad battled back to tie the score with two seventh inning runs.
The rally only briefly raised the hopes of the Panthers when Belleville East pushed across the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh. Barnouski was the hard luck loser for O’Fallon. Offensively, the Panthers were led by Cassie Brown with two hits and an RBI, Allison Underwood, who went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI and Sami Stadts, whose double produced another run for the Lady Panthers.
The OTHS girls will try to get back on track in Southwestern Conference action today (Thursday) when they travel to Granite City.