Lady Comets get back on track with shutout win

KENNA WILKEY turns for a quick out during Reed-Custer’s battle with Bishop McNamara last week. Wilkey put in a solid game, lasting seven innings and only surrendering two hits and two walks. She struck out 12 batters along the way. Photo by Fred Ruetz.
Brent Sumner
Staff Writer

    The Reed-Custer varsity softball team closed out their competition in the Providence Celtic Invitational on Saturday, as they picked up a 4-0 win over Minooka.
    The Lady Comets (4-3 overall) wound up going 2-1 during the tournament, picking up wins over Minooka and Neuqua Valley. The two wins came after losing three in a row on the schedule.
    Reed-Custer lost in the opening round of the tournament to Andrew (4-3), and suffered losses earlier in the week to Bishop McNamara (1-0) and Joliet Catholic Academy (6-5).
    “I always say that each season is a process for me and the players,” said Reed-Custer coach Ramsey Harkness. “We have a great pitching trio in Wilkey, Collier and Hill. Defensively, we have moved some kids around to put together the puzzle to be ready for conference and playoffs.”
    Against Minooka, Kenna Wilkey threw lights out yet again, as she allowed just one hit and one walk over her seven innings of shutout work. She also struck out 14 batters on the path to her win.
    In fact, Wilkey kind of did it all on Saturday, as she was potent at the plate, hitting two home runs.
    Antoinette Hill, Haley Hamilton and Grace Colclasure each added two hits, and Georgia Votta, Haley Mazon and Kelsi Dillon chipped in with one hit each.
    Hamilton had one RBI and one run scored, and Emily Wolf chipped in with one run.
    “Mentally, these kids are preparing themselves to play anyone, and see that they can not only compete, but also win against top competition,” Harkness added. “As long as we remain focused, the sky is the limit. We always need to focus on the little things and everything else will work itself out.”
Reed-Custer 7,
Neuqua Valley 6

    The Lady Comets were in for a long game Saturday morning, as they went 10 full innings against Neuqua Valley to earn the win.
    Reed-Custer recorded the first run of the game in the back-and-forth affair during the top of the first inning. Hill blasted a double with two outs to push across Wilkey for the go-ahead run.
    Their offense continued in the top of the third, recording three more runs.
    Hannah Fordonski got thing started, reaching first on an error from a bunt.
    Georgia Votta received a walk, and Michelle Mack would put down a bunt advancing all runners.
    Wilkey received a walk to push across a run, followed by a single from Hill driving in Votta and Mack.
    Unfortunately, a double play would end the series.
    With a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the frame, Neuqua Valley eventually answered, recording six runs between the bottom of the third and fourth innings.
    The score would remain the same until the seventh inning, where Reed-Custer came fighting back.
    Votta got things started with a double, and would reach third on a ground-out from Mack.
    Wilkey ripped a single up center to score Votta, and Hill would reach base on an error, advancing Wilkey across the plate to tie the game up.
    The game would take three extra innings to decide the winner, but in the 10th Mazon recorded a sacrifice fly to score Hill for the winning run.
    Mackenzie Collier got the start in the pitcher’s circle, lasting 3.1 innings. She surrendered six runs (three earned) off seven hits, struck out two and walked one.
    Wilkey recorded the win in the circle, pitching the remaining 6.2 innings. She let up just four hits and one walk, while striking out 16.
Andrew 4,
Reed-Custer 3

    The Lady Comets stayed in the game until the end, but Andrew wound up pulling away late to hand Reed-Custer an opening loss during the Celtic Invitational.
    Andrew took the initial lead in the game, recording three runs in the bottom of the first, and would hold that lead through most of the game.
    Reed-Custer responded in the top of the fifth and sixth innings, supplying three runs to tie the game up.
    Andrew responded in the bottom of the sixth though, recording one run to take the final lead of the game.
    Votta, Wilkey, Collier and Dillon each recorded hits in the game, with Wilkey adding two RBIs.
    Votta, Collier and Dillon each crossed the plate once, and Val Guzman added one RBI.
    Wilkey suffered the loss in the circle, surrendering six hits over six innings of work.
    Errors were the tale of the game, as Wilkey let up just one earned run (three unearned), while walking one and striking out 11.
    The Lady Comets had four fielding errors in the game.
Bishop Mac 1,
Reed-Custer 0

    The Lady Comets were pitted in a tough battle last Wednesday, as they took on Bishop McNamara in non-conference action.
    It was a true pitcher’s duel, as both teams were held to only three hits down the stretch, as the game went into extra innings.
    Wilkey was brilliant from the circle, hurling seven innings and surrendering just two hits and two walks. She struck out 12 batters along the way.
    Bishop Mac would record the eventual winning run in the top of the ninth inning, as Caitlyn Engelking would push Makenna Morales across the plate.
    Unfortunately, the loss went to Reed-Custer pitcher Hill, who surrendered just one hit and one run through two innings. She also walked three.
    The Lady Comets were unable to answer back in the bottom of the frame, as they suffered the loss.
    Mack and Hill registered the only hits in the game, as Mack finished with two singles.
JCA 6, R-C 5
    The Lady Comets suffered their first loss of the season last Tuesday evening, as Joliet Catholic Academy came rallying back late in the game.
    Joliet took the initial lead, recording one run in the top of the first, but Reed-Custer rallied back in the bottom of the second with four runs to claim a 4-1 lead heading down the stretch.
    JCA cut into the lead in the fifth with one run, but the Lady Comets continued to answer back, tallying one more run in the bottom of the frame.
    Reed-Custer seemed to run out of answers late though, as Joliet fought back with four unanswered runs between the sixth and seventh inning to secure the win.
    Wilkey received the loss in the circle, pitching all seven innings. She let up six runs (three earned) off eight hits, walked one and struck out 12.
    She also went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Votta, Hamilton and Guzman each added one hit.
    Mack scored two runs, followed by Votta, Hamilton and Collier with one each.
    Hill and Collier also added one RBI each.