With a chance to clinch at least a share of the Mississippi Valley Conference championship, the Highland High School softball team suffered a costly 7-2 setback to Triad on May 9 at HHS.
With the win, the Knights (15-6, 8-1) clinched at least a share of the conference title. The Bulldogs (16-6, 7-2) will have to win at Triad on May 16 to earn their share. If that happens, it will most likely be a rare three-way tie, because Mascoutah is also 7-2 in the MVC and only has to beat Jerseyville to make it a trio at the top.
Highland led 1-0 on a solo home run by senior Hannah Sullens in the bottom of the first inning. That lead held up until Triad pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the fifth.
In the home half of the sixth, the Bulldogs tied it on an RBI single by freshman Sydney Parkerson to score senior Sidney Harnetiaux, only to see Triad answer with a five-run eruption in the top of the seventh to win it.
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Senior Kourtney Zobrist led Highland with a multiple-hit performance, while freshman pitcher Samantha Miener suffered the loss for the Bulldogs.
In the circle for the Knights, Liz Young went the distance and surrendered just the two earned runs and scattered seven hits while walking none and striking out six.
Triad's 11-hit offensive attack was led by Dallas Zirkelbach's three-hit performance. Jenna Bohnenstiehl and Payton Bode each had two hits. Bohnenstiehl and Shyla Schweppe shared game-high honors with a pair of RBIs.
In addition for the Knights, Zirkelbach added one RBI and one run, Bode knocked in one, Isabelle Lehan doubled and scored once, and Young had one hit and one run.
Highland 12, Civic Memorial 1
On May 6, Sigman conceded just one run, three hits and one walk, and all of it came in the top of the fifth with the game well in hand at 12-0. The only other baserunner that Sigman allowed was hitting the second batter of the game.
After that, she retired 11 in a row before walking the leadoff hitter in the fifth. Then, after the free pass was erased on a 4-6-3 double play (Kourtney Zobrist-Lily Garbett-Addison Rinderer), CM got its only three hits and lone run.
The Bulldogs had much more success at the dish with 13 hits, including two home runs and three doubles. Highland was equally damaging to each of the Eagles' two pitchers, battering them each for six runs. Nine of the runs were charged as earned.
The Bulldogs sent 11 hitters to the plate and erupted for six runs in their second at-bat before adding one two more in the third and four additional tallies in the fourth to bring the game to an end without even needing a fifth at-bat.
Five different Highland hitters collected two hits apiece: freshman Nicole Knackstedt, Zobrist, Miener, Harnetiaux and Sullens.
Harnetiaux sparked the six-run second-inning rally with a leadoff single, and she drove in the sixth run with another single. After her leadoff single, Sigman crushed a two-run bomb over the fence in left field and off the scoreboard for the only two runs the Bulldogs really needed.
Two batters later, Miener followed her fellow freshman's lead and blasted a solo shot not far from where Sigman's landed to make it 3-0. Then, after the second out, Highland received five consecutive hits from Addison Rinderer, Zobrist (RBI double), Sullens, Lily Garbett (RBI) and Harnetiaux (RBI).
In the Bulldogs' two-run third, two runs scored on an error, and Rinderer added a sacrifice fly.
In Highland's four-run fourth, Miener had a run-scoring single and Knackstedt added a RBI double, and both of them scored on another CM error.