Two starts into her varsity softball career, sophomore Paige Rainwater seems to be handling the rigors pretty well.
After tossing a 10-strikeout one-hitter against Morrisonville in her debut, Rainwater one-upped herself with a five-inning no-hitter against Bunker Hill on Thursday, May 6.
Rainwater was a fourth inning walk away from a perfect game and struck out the side in the second, third and fifth innings as she finished the game with 13 strikeouts.
Rainwater’s gem was backed by a potent offense for the Lancers, who scored 11 runs on seven hits, five Minutemaid errors and four walks.
Two of those walks came in the opening inning as Sydney Glick was hit by a pitch, followed by free passes to Avery Pope and Cassie Krager. Glick, who stole second during Pope’s at-bat, took third and home on a pair of wild pitches to open up the scoring.
After Pope scored on a passed ball, Brittany Slightom singled to center to drive in Krager and make it a 3-0 Lancer lead. Bunker Hill would get the next two outs, but Slightom stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on a dropped third strike for the game’s fourth run.
Lincolnwood wasn’t quite done yet, though. Marissa Webb singled to center field, then stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. Katelyn Payne would drive in Webb after her pop up was dropped by the Bunker Hill second baseman.
The Minutemaids would get out of the inning on a ground out after Olivia Gresham came on in relief for starter Danica Paul, but not before Lincolnwood scored five runs and sent nine batters to the plate.
The Lancers tacked on two more runs in each of the next three innings, with Glick drawing a walk and scoring on a single by Cassie Krager to start the second. Krager would make it 7-0 after an RBI single by Taryn Millburg two batters later.
In the third, Lincolnwood scored twice without the benefit of a hit as Payne and Glick both reached on errors and eventually came around to score.
The Lancers put the 10-run rule into effect in the fourth as Brittany Slightom walked, Shelby Hattenbach doubled and Paige Rainwater helped her own cause by getting the bat on the ball and reaching on an error. Both Chelsie Anderson, who courtesy ran for Slightom, and Hattenbach would score on the error as Lincolnwood upped their lead to 11-0.
That would be more than enough run support for Rainwater, who worked around the walk in the fourth and needed just 11 pitches to set down the side in the bottom of the fifth for the win.
The win over Bunker Hill would up the Lancers’ record to 4-0, but two tough losses would come for the orange and black over the next two days. Pleasant Plains would take a 16-9 win on May 7, outscoring Lincolnwood 10-0 in the final four innings, while Staunton also had a late surge to pick up a 7-4 win over the Lancers on May 8.
Plains would take an early lead on the Lancers’ home field on Friday, getting three runs in the first and two more in the second before Lincolnwood cut the margin with three runs in the bottom of the second. The Cardinals would add an insurance run, but Lincolnwood exploded for six runs in the bottom half of the inning, with Avery Pope driving in two runs on a double to make it 9-6.
The run surge wouldn’t be enough to keep Lincolnwood out in front, though, as Plains scored four runs in the fourth and two runs in each of the final three innings to come away with the win.
Plains would outhit the Lancers 16-8, with eight different players getting hits for Lincolnwood. Sidney Glick, Avery Pope and Brittany Slightom all had doubles in the loss.
Taryn Millburg would take the loss on the mound, but just six of her 14 runs were earned. The freshman hurler would also strike out three and walk four in her five and a third innings of work. Paige Rainwater got the final five outs, allowing two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Rainwater would get the start against Staunton and was rolling through the Bulldogs until the fifth inning, when the home team scored five runs to erase what was a 4-1 Lincolnwood advantage. Staunton would add on a solo tally in the sixth inning on a homer by Koral Keehner as they improved to 7-3 with the three-run win.
Keehner’s home run was her second of the game as she led off the second with another solo shot to break a scoreless tie.
The Lancers answered Keehner’s long ball with one of their own. Avery Pope sent one over the right field fence to score Sidney Glick. Desi Pitchford and Glick had singled prior to Pope’s homer, with Pitchford scoring on an error before the big fly.
The Lancers threatened to add more in the third with a double by Cassie Krager and an error on a ground ball off the bat of Brittany Slightom, but Tori Kierbach struck out the final batter of the inning to leave both runners stranded.
Pope would drive in her third run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth that scored Glick, who reached on a fielder’s choice and worked her way around to third on a steal and a wild pitch.
Staunton answered in a big way in the bottom of the fifth, though, scoring five runs on five hits and a pair of walks to take a 6-4 lead.
After the Bulldogs added the insurance run, Lincolnwood tried to get things going in the seventh with a one-out single by Pitchford and an error that lead to Glick reaching first, but Pitchford was called out trying to move to third and Kierbach coaxed a ground ball for the final out and the Bulldogs’ seventh win.
Both Pitchford and senior Brittany Slightom would have two hits in the loss, with Pope also going 1-for-3 with three runs driven in.
Staunton would outhit the Lancers 11-7, with both pitchers striking out five. Kierbach would hold the advantage in walks though, issuing one free pass, while Rainwater walked four.
May 6 at Bunker Hill
Lincolnwood 522 20 11 7 0
Bunker Hill 000 00 0 0 5
Lincolnwood IP R ER H K BB
Rainwater 5 0 0 0 13 1
Bunker Hill IP R ER H K BB
Paul 0.2 5 4 2 1 2
Gresham 4.1 6 2 5 2 2
2B: Lincolnwood - Shelby Hattenbach. Runs: Lincolnwood - Sidney Glick 3, Cassie Krager 2, Avery Pope 1, Brittany Slightom 1, Shelby Hattenbach 1, Marisa Webb 1, Katelyn Payne 1, Chelsie Anderson 1. RBI: Lincolnwood - Paige Rainwater 3, Avery Pope 1, Cassie Krager 1, Brittany Slightom 1, Taryn Millburg 1.
Records: Bunker Hill (2-2).
May 7 at Raymond
Pl. Plains 321 422 2 16 16 4
Lincolnwood 036 000 0 9 8 7
Plains IP R ER H K BB
Meyer 3 9 1 6 0 3
Nation 4 0 0 2 2 1
Lincolnwood IP R ER H K BB
Millburg 5.1 14 6 13 3 4
Rainwater 1.2 2 2 3 2 2
Multiple Hits: Pleasant Plains - Boltz 3-5, Cameron 3-5, Meyer 3-5, Smith 2-4, Ruot 2-5. 2B: Lincolnwood - Sidney Glick 1, Avery Pope 1, Brittany Slightom 1; Pleasant Plains - Boltz 1, Cameron 1. HR: Pleasant Plains - Meyer 1, Smith 1, Cameron 1. Runs: Lincolnwood - Desi Pitchford 2, Taryn Millburg 2, Brittany Slightom 1, Paige Rainwater 1, Justine Seelbach 1, Marisa Webb 1, Katelyn Payne 1. RBI: Lincolnwood - Sidney Glick 2, Avery Pope 2, Desi Pitchford 2, Taryn Millburg 1, Sophie Rainwater 1, Katelyn Payne 1.
Records: Pleasant Plains (6-5)
May 8 at Staunton
Lincolnwood 003 010 0 4 7 1
Staunton 010 051 x 7 11 3
Lincolnwood IP R ER H K BB
Rainwater 6 7 7 11 5 4
Staunton IP R ER H K BB
Kierbach 7 4 4 7 5 1
Multiple Hits: Lincolnwood - Desi Pitchford 2-2, Brittany Slightom 2-3; Staunton - Koral Keehner 2-2, Sarah Kovunka 2-3, Analise Best 2-4. 2B: Lincolnwood - Cassie Krager 1; Staunton - Analise Best 2, Whitney Weller 1, Taylor Nolan 1. 3B: Staunton - Savannah Billings 1. HR: Lincolnwood - Avery Pope 1; Staunton - Koral Keehner 2. Runs: Lincolnwood - Sidney Glick 2, Avery Pope 1, Desi Pitchford 1. RBI: Lincolnwood - Avery Pope 3.
Records: Lincolnwood (4-2); Staunton (7-3)