Softball: Sterling takes advantage of Dixon miscues, wins rivalry game
DIXON – Dixon made several mistakes, and Sterling made the Duchesses pay.
Dixon committed five errors, leading to seven unearned runs in a 13-3 five-inning loss to the Golden Warriors in a Northern Illinois Big 12 West softball matchup Thursday at Reynolds Field.
Sterling (23-4, 6-1) jumped in front 9-0 with a three-run first inning and a six-run second. All three first-inning runs were unearned, as well as three more in the second.
Mackenzie Staples had an RBI double and Cassidy
Gillihan an RBI single in the Warriors’ first. Ashli King had the big blow in the
second with a three-run triple. Karlie Mellott had an RBI single, Stephanie Kester an RBI fielder’s choice, and
Gillihan an RBI groundout.
“I don’t get those very much,” King, Sterling’s catcher, said of her triple. “I just tried to hit the ball hard. I wasn’t trying to hit a home run or anything. I was just trying to hit a solid line shot.”
“We came out aggressive on offense, but defensively we kind of fell asleep,” said Warriors coach Rick Henderson, whose team downed Dixon 10-0 on April 10. “I think Stephanie [Kester] was on cruise control and we got back on our heels a little bit.”
Kester (18-4) worked the first four innings, allowing three runs on five hits. She struck out four and did not issue a walk.
Dixon (9-17, 0-8) committed two errors in each of the first two innings.
“We could have made some more plays,” said the Duchesses’ Brooke Bailey, who was 2-for-2. “And, if we could have got our bats moving a little sooner, it might have been a different outcome.”
Kester limited the Duchesses to one baserunner in the first three innings. Dixon finally put some offense together in a three-run fourth that made it 9-3.
Beccah Jones belted an RBI double and Kari Wolfe had an RBI single in the inning.
Sterling tacked on four more runs in the fifth. Priscilla Aponte cracked an RBI double to left-center and Kester stroked an RBI single. The other runs scored on a double-steal and an error.
“We’re kind of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type deal,” Dixon coach Chris Jones said. “We get a little tensed up when we play Sterling. The girls take it personal. I just wish they would relax a little more when they step on the field.”
Erin Smith took the loss, allowing six earned runs on 11 hits in five innings.
Sterling 13, Dixon 3, 5 inn.
Star of the game: Stephanie Kester, Sterling, 2 hits, 2B, 2 RBIs, 2 runs, win
Key performers: Ashli King, Sterling, 3-run 3B; Cassidy Gillihan, Sterling, 2 hits, 2 RBIs; Brooke Bailey, Dixon, 2 hits
Up next: Dixon at Rochelle (DH), 10 a.m. Saturday; Streator at Sterling, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday
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