The Highland High School softball team ran its winning streak to seven games with a 6-1 victory over visiting Waterloo on Monday, April 30.
The Bulldogs' streak came to an end the next time out in a 3-1 home loss to Mascoutah. Now, both Highland and the Indians are tied atop the Mississippi Valley Conference with matching 6-1 records.
The Bulldogs then went on to go 2-1 at the Triad Tournament on Friday and Saturday. First, on Friday, Highland scored a 4-3 comeback win over O'Fallon.
Then on Saturday, the Bulldogs suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to still-undefeated Columbia before bouncing back to double up Triad 8-4 in eighth innings and claim third place.
Highland, which improved to 15-5 overall, hosted Civic Memorial on Monday.
Highland 8, Triad 4
In a tight game in which Highland's stats still were not submitted at press time, the Bulldogs rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth inning. Freshman hurler Sam Miener and her defense made it hold up for a huge win in the third-place game.
Miener relieved senior left-hander Addison Rinderer to start the seventh, because Rinderer was experiencing some soreness in her left pitching shoulder. Miener pitched a shutout for the seventh and eighth innings and earned an abbreviated, but well-earned victory in the circle to help the Bulldogs earn third place over their Route 40 rivals.
Miener yielded three hits and struck out one.
Through the first six frames, Rinderer scattered seven hits and two of the four runs she allowed were unearned. She struck out two.
Offensively for Highland, senior Kourtney Zobrist, junior Lily Garbett and freshman Delaina Sigman each banged out two hits for the Bulldogs, which were outhit by the Knights, 12-10.
Sigman also swatted a double to go with a pair of runs batted in while Garbett added a double, one RBI and one run scored and Zobrist also had one RBI and one run.
Gaining one hit each for Highland were senior Hannah Sullens (double, one RBI, one run), freshman sydney Parkerson (one RBI, one run), sophomore Taylor Fleming (one RBI, one run) and senior Sidney Harnetiaux (one walk, one run).
Triad pitcher Ella Moore toiled the entire time and was pinned with the loss after allowing eight runs (seven earned), 11 hits and two walks while striking out four.
Offensively for the Knights, Bailey Frank, Payton Bode and Dallas Zirkelbach each had two hits and Liz Young (double) and Caroline Lehan each added one hit and one run batted in.
Columbia 1, Highland 0
In a good old-fashioned pitcher's duel, the only run in the entire game came in the third inning when Columbia's Keeler van Breusegen' smacked an RBI single to score Britney Edwards, who had singled and stolen a base to put herself in scoring position.
Kaelyn Rheinecker earned the shutout win for the Eagles in the circle after going the distance and yielding only three hits and three walks to go with six strikeouts.
Getting one hit each for Highland were Zobrist, Harnetiaux and Miener.
Miener suffered the tough-luck loss after pitching a great game in which she surrendered just the one earned run and four hits while punching out seven.
Highland 4, O'Fallon 3
Trailing 2-1 after 4 1/2 innings, the Bulldogs rallied for three runs in the bottom half of the fifth and then held on for the one-run victory.
Sullens clubbed a two-run triple to plate Rinderer (single) and Zobrist (double) and then Sullens came home to score the game-winning run on an ensuing error.
The Panthers got two hits each from Hayleigh Juenger and Ashley Schloer. Juenger, who was the losing pitcher in relief of starter Kaitlin Moore, also slugged a solo home run. Courtney Keller and Zoie Howard each added one hit and one run for O'Fallon.
The rally made a winner out of Rinderer, who went the distance to beat O'Fallon for the second time this season.
Mascoutah 3, Highland 1
The Bulldogs' offense struggled against Ball State University recruit Tieghan Morio (15-2). Highland mustered just four hits and was only able to break up a shutout because of a single tally in the fifth. Morio finished with five strikeouts.
The Indians outhit Highland 10-4.
Morio was played a key role in Mascoutah's offense as she, Kayla Rudolphi and Kaitlyn Jennings all collected two hits to share game-high honors with Zobrist. Moro also slugged a solo home run to put her team up 3-1 in the top of the seventh.
Also for the Indians, Bailey Albright and Grace Etling each provided one hit and one RBI apiece to put Mascoutah up 2-0 before Highland got one back on a run-scoring single from Zobrist.
Miener suffered the tough loss after going the distance and being charged with three earned runs, 10 hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
Highland 6, Waterloo 1
HHS outhit the visitors 9-5 to pull off the season sweep. Five of Highland's nine hits were doubles.
Miener blanked Waterloo on three hits through six innings while Highland ran out to a 6-0 lead before the visitors finally broke up the shutout for a single tally in the seventh.
Miener finished with six strikeouts and only one walk.
Garbett and Sigman were the top hitters in the game with two hits apiece.
Garbett was credited with a pair of doubles. In HHS' two-run second, she led off with a double and scored the game's first run. Garbett also traded places with Sullens in the third as both swatted back-to-back doubles to put Highland on top 3-0.
Sigman drove in a game-high pair of runs. She slapped a run-scoring single the opposite way to right in the second to chase Garbett home for a 2-0 lead. Sigman then added an RBI single in the sixth to give HHS a 5-0 advantage.
Joining Sullens with one hit apiece were junior Lexy Gilliam (RBI), Rinderer (double, run), Miener (double), and Zobrist. In addition to her double and run scored, Sullens also had a RBI with a sacrifice fly in the fifth to bring Rinderer home.
Gilliam smacked a run-scoring single in the sixth to plate Sigman with the game's final run.