The OTHS softball team staged a seventh-inning comeback Thursday at home to tie their game with Belleville East, but ended up falling in extra innings 6-5.
The loss put the Panthers (18-8) and Lancers (20-5) in a tie for second place in the Southwestern Conference, with both schools holding 10-3 records in league play at the end of the week. Edwardsville sat alone atop the SWC standings at 12-0 at week's end.
East jumped on top early, scoring three runs off OTHS starter Kaitlin Moore. The Lancers tacked on two more in the third to build a 5-0 lead and chase Moore, who came into the game with an 8-1 record and a 1.52 ERA.
After having thrown seven innings the day before against Nashville, Hayleigh Juenger (6-6, 1.94 ERA) came in to relieve Moore. Juenger ended up being the tough-luck loser, tossing six innings and allowing just a single run in the eighth, which was unearned. She struck out four and walked only one.
OTHS chipped away at the Lancers' lead by scoring two runs in the fourth. O'Fallon then scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to force another inning, but the Lancers got a run back in the top of the eighth and held the Panthers in the bottom half to earn the win.
Each team finished the game with nine hits and two errors.
For O'Fallon, Miley Brunner (.405) was 3-for-4 with double and a run scored. Juenger (.452) also had three hits, including a double and two RBIs. Courtney Keller (.415) had a single, a run, and a walk. Moore (.305) knocked in one run and had two sacrifices. Kelly Short (.333) had a double and a run scored, and Ashley Schloer (.345) had a double, two runs, an RBI, and a walk.
Despite the loss, the week was a pretty good one for the Panthers. OTHS notched wins against Collinsville on May 7, Granite City on May 8 and Nashville on May 9.
OTHS 4, Collinsville 1
OTHS scored a 4-1 Southwestern Conference victory May 7 over Collinsville.
Moore pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on four hits. She struck out two and walked none to earn her seventh win of the season.
Zoie Howard (run), Short (double, RBI, two runs) and Abigail Wilson all had two hits for the Panthers. Howard is batting .452 on the season, and Wilson is hitting .375.
Also at the plate for OTHS, Brunner had a single and a stolen base. Juenger had a double and a walk. Caroline Keller had a single and two RBIs. Moore had a single and an RBI. Schloer also scored a run.
OTHS 3, Granite City 1
Moore and the Panthers both earned their second SWC win in as many days as O'Fallon downed Granite City 3-1 on May 8.
Again, Moore pitched a complete game, allowing just one earned run and walking no one. She struck out eight Warriors to earn the win.
Brunner (run) and Schloer (double, RBI) each had two hits for OTHS.
Others finding their way into the score book for OTHS were Caroline Keller (single, run), Courtney Keller (single), Moore (single), Taylor VanAusdall (single, RBI), and Jade Williams (single, run, RBI).
OTHS 7, Nashville 1
OTHS powered up against the Hornettes, swatting two home runs and three doubles.
Howard and Schloer hit back-to-back solo homers in the first inning to get the scoring started. The home run was Howard's third of the season and sixth for Schloer. On the afternoon, Howard was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, which also included two singles, a run scored and four RBIs.
Courtney Keller and Wilson had two hits each for the Panthers. Both Keller's hits were doubles. She also scored a run and had an RBI. Wilson had a double, single, sacrifice and scored twice.
Brunner also had a single, stolen base, a walk, an RBI, and scored two runs.
Juenger pitched all seven innings, allowing just the lone earned run on six hits. She struck out three and walked no one.