Mercer County falls to third in LTC after splitting with A-W

Posted Online: April 27, 2013, 9:26 pm
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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com
ANNAWAN -- If they wanted to maintain their pursuit of a Lincoln Trail Conference softball title, the Mercer County Golden Eagles knew nothing less than a sweep would do on Saturday.

But after using a 13-run sixth inning to outslug Annawan-Wethersfield 18-9 in the opener of its LTC twinbill at Howes Park, Mercer County couldn't maintain its momentum as the Titans got an early jump on freshman pitcher Katie Weeks in the second game and rolled to an 11-1, five-inning victory.

"Absolutely, we needed the sweep,'' said Mercer County coach Cassidy Staker, whose 9-7 club falls to 9-5 and into third behind LTC-leading Biggsville West Central and second-place Stark County. "But it's hard to do that with a freshman throwing all the time. The longer she's out there, the more they'll start hitting the ball.''

Sophomore Bailey Swanson, the Golden Eagles' other starter, has been out the past three weeks with a muscle injury in her left leg, and her return is still up in the air. "Not having more pitching options, that hurts,'' said Staker.

Meantime, Annawan-Wethersfield (9-10, 7-8 LTC) got another boost in that department as junior ace Megan Foes made her second start since returning to the circle following a back injury. Two days after spinning a three-hit shutout against ROWVA, Foes scattered five hits and struck out six in the second-game victory.

"This feels good,'' she said. "It was frustrating, because I couldn't get better and I felt like I was letting the team down. It feels good to be back out there again, and my team supports me 100 percent and is working hard behind me.''

After Titan pitching issued 15 walks in the opening-game setback, Foes (6-1) knew she needed to deliver a steady performance to help put the first game behind them.

"I knew it was a new game,'' she said. " We just had to start fresh, and forget about the first game. That worked for us.''

A two-run homer by A-W catcher Celina VanHyfte opened a three-run first for the hosts, who then tacked on four more runs to take control. Foes helped herself with two hits and two RBIs, with Emillie Wright driving in two runs.

In the opener, VanHyfte (two hits, two RBIs) also homered as the Titans took a 7-2 lead into the top of the sixth. That's when Mercer County broke loose for its big 13-run inning, helped along by several walks and including a two-run Morgan Weeks homer and a two-run single by Hannah Kirkhove.

"We're kind of slow starters,'' said Staker, "but once we get started, we have a tendency to really get the ball rolling. We just need to do it sooner, and not put ourselves in a pressure situation.''


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.

(More History)