RURAL STREATOR — Like many of the area's sports teams — because of Mother Nature being AWOL in letting go of winter — the Woodland/Flanagan-Cornell softball team has found games this season to be few and far between.
It had been almost two weeks since the Warriors took the field when they entertained Midland on Thursday afternoon in a Tri-County Conference game that was originally scheduled to be played in rural Varna.
WFC (3-2, 1-0 TCC) came out strong, plating 10 runs on 10 hits in the first inning, and eventually began league play with a 17-0 victory in five innings here at Woodland School. Junior right-hander August Gillman earned the compete-game pitching win after scattering four hits, walking two and fanning nine. Destiny Anthony paced Midland with a single and double, while starter Lexi Keedy took the loss in the circle.
Senior Shea Moritz led the 16-hit WFC offense with three hits, including a double, and four RBIs, while Elise Kane, Kylie Kindermann, Sydnee Plesko, Gillman and Abby Essman all stroked a pair of hits. Kindermann and Gillman each drove in three runs, Friese two, and Kane, Audrey Jenkins, Hannah Dunahee, Plesko and Jasmine Easton one each.
"I liked how disciplined we were at the plate today, especially after not having a game in 13 days," said WFC coach Jordan Farris. "The girls have been doing what they can hitting-wise indoors in the cages because of the weather, and it was nice to see them be able to continue to hit the ball well outdoors as well. I thought up and down the lineup, especially at the top and middle of the order, we made adjustments in the at-bat. We have had a bad habit of getting under pitches, but today we did a much better job of keeping our hands above the ball and driving it."
Midland (1-5, 0-2) began the contest with Keedy reaching on a bunt hit and Lilah Bobinski drawing a walk. However, Gillman retired the next three hitters, the last two via strikeout to end the threat.
The Warriors put the game away in their half of the frame, sending 15 batters to the dish. Kane started things with an infield single, and an out later Friese reached on one of the Lady Timberwolves' five errors in the game. Moritz drove in both with a single and later scored on a hit by Kindermann to make it 3-0. After a hit by Plesko, Gillman ripped a single to center to score two more, which was followed by an RBI single by Essman and RBI double by Jenkins to make it 7-0. A two-run single by Friese and a run-scoring knock from Kindermann pushed it to 10-0.
"August, along with all our pitchers, has the ability to get ahead in the count. They are so much more effective when they get ahead because of the pitches they have," Farris said. "Gripping the ball was a little tough today for sure, and she had a few pitches get away from her, but she knows her mechanics and how to fix it.
"She did a good job of making adjustments as the game went on."
While Gillman was cruising along, WFC scored five more times in the second with Kane wrapping an RBI single and Moritz, Kindermann, Plesko and Gillman drawing bases-loaded walks. The Warriors scored the final two tallies of the game in the third as Moritz singled in a run and Dunahee coaxed a walk with the bases full.
At Woodland, rural Streator
WFC 17, Midland 0 (5 inn.)
MIDLAND (0) — Keedy p/1b 3-0-1-0, Bobinski 2b 2-0-1-0, Poignant 1b 1-0-0-0, Forsythe 1b/p 2-0-0-0, Schupp 3b 2-0-0-0, Romaker ss 2-0-0-0, Highsmith lf 1-0-0-0, Anthony c 2-0-2-0, Chirchirillo rf 2-0-0-0, Gravat cf 2-0-0-0. Totals 19-0-4-0.
WFC (17) — Kane ss 2-3-2-1, Schwahn cr/lf 1-3-1-0, Jenkins cf/ss 4-2-1-1, Friese 3b 3-3-1-2, Moritz 1b/rf 3-2-3-4, Kindermann dp 2-1-2-3, Dunahee lf/flex 0-0-0-1, Plesko rf/1b 4-1-2-1, Gillman p 3-0-2-3, Walter cr 0-1-0-0, Essman c 4-0-2-0, Easton 2b 3-1-0-1. Totals 29-17-16-17.
Midland (1-5, 0-1) 000 00 — 0 4 5
WFC (3-2, 1-0) (10)52 0x — 17 16 1
LOB — Midland 6, WFC 8. 2B — Anthony, Jenkins, Moritz. SB — Friese.
Midland ip h r er bb k
Keedy (L) 1.2 13 15 10 3 1
Forsythe 2.1 3 2 0 3 0
Gillman (W) 5.0 4 0 0 2 9