Feldmann leads Staunton past Bunker Hill
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The 2023 regular season was business as usual for Michelle Smith’s Gillespie Miners’ softball team.
Gillespie is red hot heading into the postseason with nine consecutive victories and a 24-3 record overall.
The Miners tuned up for the playoffs by stringing together four statement home victories that were mostly fueled by the dominant arm of Emma Gipson and a surging offense.
Gillespie sunk Greenville 12-0 to lock up another perfect conference season May 9. The Miners scored in every inning but the third and Gipson struck out 12 batters from the rubber.
Gillespie stayed hot the next day and bashed Hillsboro, 16-2, in five frames. Gipson hammered a bases clearing double and ended the day with five RBI. Ava Parish scored four runs and Regan Bussmann crossed the plate three times.
The May 12 contest against Calhoun was a true team win for GHS. The Miners scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the third, but the Warriors immediately shifted the tides and grasped a one-run lead of their own in the top of the fourth. The outcome remained the same until the bottom of the seventh. Addi Cox led off with a single then moved into scoring position after Delaney Taylor was gifted second base on a Calhoun error. With two runners in scoring position and nobody out, the Warriors walked Bussmann to load the bases. Parish then stepped up and ripped a hard-hit ball that found its way into the outfield for a walkoff two-run single.
Gipson kept the Warriors at bay by allowing just one hit and one walk over the span of seven innings while striking out nine.
Gillespie closed out the regular season with a 7-0 shutout victory over Auburn May 13. In her final game on home soil, Bussmann went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Eve Kaduk, one of three seniors along with Bussmann and Megan Rife, added a pair of hits and RBI. Gipson only surrendered four hits en route to the eighth complete game shutout of her junior season.
Staunton holds off Bunker Hill
Staunton led by as many as six runs before fending off a late rally to beat Bunker Hill, 8-5, May 11.
The victory was Staunton’s third in a row to end the regular season. The Bulldogs are 17-8 overall.
Bunker Hill fell to 14-8 with the loss.
Ele Feldmann went 3-for-4 with three RBI and was a home run shy of the cycle. Kylie Lucykow also came away with three hits and plated a pair of runs for the Dogs.
Olivia Gresham and Taytem Brooks contributed RBI for Bunker Hill.
Feldmann lasted four innings on the mound for Staunton and was the winning pitcher. The sophomore walked seven and struck out six while keeping the Minutmaids out of the hit column. Lucykow surrendered three runs on four knocks in relief.
Lauren Lenihan (7 IP, 8 R, 11 H, 2 BB, 9 K) took the loss for Bunker Hill.
In other action, Carlinville won its final home game, defeating Lincolnwood, 11-1, May 12. The 17-8 Cavaliers lost their season finale at Pleasant Hill, 2-1, May 13.
Southwestern (17-12) knocked off East Alton-Wood River 13-8 in eight frames May 9, then lost 5-0 at Edwardsville May 10.
Postseason play began May 15.
Coverage will be featured in next week’s issue.