Dupo pitcher Reagan Carner plowed through the Freeburg lineup, allowing just two hits in an efficient seven innings to lead Dupo to a 7-1 non-conference win over the Midgets on Friday.
One of three who can take the circle for the Tigers, Carner improved her record to 3-0 on the young season.
“I can’t say enough about Reagan. She has really come into her own this year and I’ve been watching her for a long time,” said Dupo first-year head coach Tom Norman. “She hits her spots and she steps up big time. She’s got confidence for a sophomore. She can give up a home run like she did in the first inning and come back and not let her affect her.”
Carner struck out just three, but one of them was Miranda Schulte, the Freeburg junior slugger who finished among the top five in the metro east last season in average, home runs and RBIs.
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Though she had given up a solo home run to Hannah Harbaugh in the same inning, Carner later celebrated getting the out against a hitter she well respects.
“I mainly throw my movement pitches because my curve ball worked really well, and that’s what I got Miranda on,” Carner said. “I was so excited because it usually doesn’t work that well. It did today and I’m just happy we won.”
Schulte to got the start in the circle for Freeburg and struck out nine Dupo batters with three walks and seven hits allowed. But Tigers shortstop Skylure Barlow belted a second-inning grand slam and senior Megan Brown hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Dupo’s other run was unearned.
Dupo, second-place finishers in Illinois Class 2A last spring, imporoved to 7-1 on the season. Freeburg, a sectional champion in 3A, fell to 1-1.
Freeburg took the early lead on Harbaugh’s home run in the first inning, but Dupo responded in the top of the second. MyKenze Kloess singled, Kassidee Keys reached on a fielder’s choice and lead-off hitter Cameron Foster walked. With two out, Barlow clubbed a Schulte pitch high over the center field fence.
Catcher Stormy Sellers drove home Taylor Esmon, who had reached on an error, with one out in the third.
In the fourth, Barlow walked ahead of Brown, who hit her seventh home run of the year to close out the scoring.
Dupo has belted 16 home runs in eight games so far this season.
“We have been hitting a lot of long balls, they just work the pitchers though,” Norman said. “They find their mistakes and have been fortunate they have gone over the fence.”
After the Harbaugh home run, Carner gave up only a second-inning single to Freeburg catcher Madison Schanuel and hit freshman leadoff hitter Kelsie Burroughs with a pitch in the sixth. She faced just three more than the minum in the game with help from errorless Dupo defense.
Brown, who entered the game hitting .714 in 21 at-bats, went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored. Sellers, had two hits and an RBI. Barlow scored twice on a home run and a walk. Kloess and Esmon also had hits.