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IVCC sophomore and La Salle-Peru alumna Micky Fassino lays down a bunt during the first game of the Lady Eagles’ Arrowhead Conference doubleheader opener Tuesday in Oglesby. IVCC held on to win Game 1 against Black Hawk but could not find any offense in Game 2 and lost. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
The IVCC softball team opened Arrowhead Conference play Tuesday with a doubleheader split against Black Hawk in Oglesby.
The Lady Eagles held on for a 5-4 victory in the opener before losing 9-0 in six innings in the second game.
“Coming into the games, Black Hawk was 2-0 in the conference, so it was good to split with them,” IVCC coach Cory Tomasson said. “I wish we could have taken two, but at least we got one from them.”
The Lady Eagles scored early in the opener as lead-off hitter R.J. Judd reached on an error and later came in to score on an RBI single by Olivia Harcar.
IVCC tacked on another run in the third on Harcar’s second RBI single — which also scored Judd — before scoring three times in the fourth.
In the fourth, the Lady Eagles capitalized on back-to-back errors by the Black Hawk shortstop to score Liz Whitaker, Miranda Grandy and Judd.
“The first game we played well,” Tomasson said. “We hit the ball well and they made some errors.”
The three-run fourth provided IVCC just enough cushion to hold on as the Braves exploded for four runs on five hits in the sixth inning.
Whitaker finally escaped the inning when she induced a groundout to first base before bouncing back to pitch a scoreless seventh inning.
Whitaker allowed four runs — all earned — on 11 hits with five strikeouts and a pair of walks.
“She pitched really well,” Tomasson said.
In the second game, it was the Braves who hit the ball well.
Black Hawk started its offensive explosion with three runs on five hits in the third inning. The Braves kept piling on in the fourth as they scored four more times on four hits.
Black Hawk tacked on two more runs in the sixth with the help of two IVCC errors to induce the mercy rule.
Fieldcrest graduate Tiffany Lindsay took the loss as she allowed all nine runs — eight earned — on 12 hits while striking out two and walking one.
“Tiffany had a little bit of a problem because her hands are small and it was cold today,” Tomasson said. “Finding her spot was a little bit hard, so she missed on a couple pitches and they took advantage of it.”
The Lady Eagles, meanwhile, couldn’t get much going offensively as they had just five hits.
IVCC only had multiple hits and multiple base runners in the fourth inning.
“The second game, the difference was they played really good defense,” Tomasson said. “We scorched the ball. We had five or six line drives that just didn’t find holes that could have been easy runs, but give them credit, they made the plays.”
The Lady Eagles (3-6, 1-1 Arrowhead) return to action Thursday at home against Carl Sandburg in a conference doubleheader.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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