PHOTO: Despite a coach’s efforts, Monticello’s Sonya McCormick tags out a Wilton runner at third base June 4 in Wilton. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Stonebraker, Tipton Conservative)
By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Four victories in two days, including a pair of key Tri-Rivers Conference wins, extended the Monticello softball team’s winning streak to seven.
The week opened with a pair of conference battles June 3 at North-Linn.
The first of those truly was a battle, as the Panthers fought off a late North-Linn rally to win 5-3. Monticello (4-0, 7-1) jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as Erin Hosch hit a two-run double and Kori Bohlken knocked in a run with a single.
After the Lynx cut the margin to 3-2 in the bottom of the first, the Panthers added a run in the third on an RBI single by Hosch, and another in the top of the sixth as Kennedy Kraus hit an RBI single.
North-Linn scored in the bottom of the seventh and had runners on first and second with two out, but a ground out to third ended the game.
Hosch finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Lael Lubben was 3-for-4 with a double, and Paxtyn Keleher hit 2-for-4. Sonya McCormick and courtesy runner Allison Ries scored two runs apiece. Hosch was the winning pitcher, allowing no earned runs and striking out six in seven innings.
The Panthers dominated the second game, a 13-3 win, from the start. They scored six runs in the top of the first inning, includ-ing a three-run homer by Bohlken, and scored additional runs in the fourth through seventh innings.
Keleher was 3-for-5 with two RBIs in that game. Bohlken finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Allison Kraus was 2-for-2 and drove in two runs. Kennedy Kraus and Andrea Bone each had two hits and two RBIs.
Hannah Thompson pitched all seven innings to get the win, allowing seven hits and striking out five.
Monticello then traveled to Wilton for a non-conference doubleheader, and won both games, by scores of 9-5 and 7-6.
The first game was a see-saw affair, with the teams trading runs and Monticello leading 7-5 after six innings. RBI doubles by Keleher and McCormick in the top of the seventh gave the Panthers a pair of insurance runs.
Hosch pitched for the win. Bohlken batted 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Allison Kraus and Ries scored two runs apiece.
The Panthers looked to be in control of the second game, leading 7-1 through six innings. But Wilton scored five times in the bottom of the seventh, helped by three Monticello errors, before a ground out to short ended the game.
Thompson was the winning pitcher, allowing no earned runs and seven hits while striking out four. She helped her cause at the plate by going 1-for-3 with three RBIs. McCormick hit 2-for-4 with two doubles.
Monticello was also scheduled to play host to Alburnett June 5, but those games were rained out, with a rescheduled date yet to be announced.