The Quincy University softball team opened its home and Great Lakes Valley Conference schedules on Friday (March 11) afternoon, but Illinois Springfield came away with a 1-0, 11-inning win in Game 1 before a 9-4 triumph in Game 2 at the Mart Heinen Softball Complex.
Game 1 was a pitcher’s duel as UIS’s Jaycee Craver matched up with QU junior starter Tiffany Harbison.
The Prairie Stars (8-10, 2-0 GLVC) had a chance in the first inning with two runners on and two outs, but Harbison struck out Amanda Gosbeth to end the inning.
The Lady Hawks (5-9, 0-2 GLVC) had their best chance in the second inning as sophomore Abby Burton doubled to put runners on second and third with just one out. Craver retired the next two batters to keep Quincy off the board.
Harbison got in a groove after the first inning, retiring 14 in a row at one point and finishing with nine strikeouts.
The game went extra innings as Craver matched Harbison pitch-for-pitch. Sophomore Meghan Quirk replaced Harbison in the eighth and pitched around a leadoff walk to keep the Stars off the board.
QU had a prime scoring chance in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with just one out, but Craver got a fielder’s choice and a groundout to escape the jam.
Illinois Springfield put a couple runners on in the 11th before Alexa McClaughry delivered an RBI single with two outs to break the scoreless tie.
Craver set down the Lady Hawks in order in the bottom of the 11th.
UIS managed five hits in the game while Quincy picked up four. Quirk (1-3) took the loss, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and two striekouts in four relief innings. Harbison did not factor in the decision, striking out nine and walking three in seven innings. She allowed just two hits. Craver (6-4) tossed an 11-inning shutout with seven strikeouts with two walks.
Illinois Springfield tagged freshman starter Kristen Skala for four runs in the first two innings to take an early 4-0 lead.
Sophomore Emily Griskell settled things to get out of the second and keep the Stars off the board in the third.
The Lady Hawks loaded the bases with one out in the third and senior Rachel Scrum delivered an RBI fielder’s choice to give QU its first run of the game.
Brittany Miller’s solo home run pushed the lead to 5-1 for UIS before her three-run blast made it 8-1 in the sixth.
Junior Lindsey Greene ripped a solo home run on the first pitch of the sixth inning to cut it to 8-2. It was her third home run of the season.
Junior Kaylee Jones pounded her first home run of the season – two-run shot in the seventh to provide the final margin.
Skala (1-4) was straddled with the loss, allowing four earned runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings. Alexandria Smith (2-6) earned the win, surrendering four runs (three earned) on eight hits.
Freshman Jackie Farbak had three hits to lead the Lady Hawks, who were out-hit 12-8.
Quincy will return to the field on Saturday (March 12) at noon against McKendree.