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HS softball: Staunton and North Mac already have three wins

Hallie Gibson fired a 16-strikeout no-hitter for the Carlinville High School softball team in a 7-2 win against Bloomington Central Catholic at the Future Champions Complex Mar. 16. Photo contributed.

Hallie Gibson fires 16-strikeout no-hitter, Carlinville gets two victories

By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter

The vast majority of high school softball teams in Macoupin County are loaded with talent in 2024 and the wins are already materializing in bunches.

Staunton and North Mac celebrated three triumphs in the season’s opening week. Carlinville and Gillespie collected two victories, and Southwestern also opened the year with a win.

Staunton and North Mac

Staunton and North Mac are both on a three-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs are 3-0 and North Mac is undefeated since a tough 3-2 Opening Day loss at Auburn.

Staunton dominated Nokomis 8-0 to open the season Mar. 11, then kept the coals stoked with convincing wins at Metro East Lutheran 15-0 Mar. 15 and Lincolnwood 14-4 Mar. 16.

North Mac swept a trio of home games, beating North Greene 14-1 Mar. 15 then Midland 13-3 and Marquette 9-7 in a Mar. 16 doubleheader.

Carlinville

With the exception of a few walks, sacrifices and four stolen bases that led to a couple of runs against her, Carlinville’s Hallie Gibson was otherwise untouched in a 7-2 victory over Bloomington Central Catholic Mar. 16.

Gibson fired a no-hitter, striking out 16 batters, and the Cavaliers picked up their second victory in as many games at the Future Champions Complex.

While Hallie was owning the pitching ring, her sister Hannah Gibson helped contribute to the Cavies’ offensive charge with an inside-the-park home run. Karly Tipps also circled the bases as part of a multi-hit three-RBI performance.

After squandering a slim 3-2 lead in the bottom of the final inning en route to a heartbreaking 4-3 Opening Day loss at Highland Mar. 11, Carlinville defeated Midland, 12-1, for its first win of the season Mar. 15.

Gillespie

Gillespie opened the season with a pair of shutout victories over Ramsey Mar. 11 and Pawnee Mar. 12.

The Miners ran away with the opener at Ben-Gil Elementary, 16-0, in four innings. The Gillespie offense unloaded for 16 hits, including two home runs (one apiece from Paxton Reid and Sadie Sholtis). Emma Gipson slammed the door in the top of the fourth after the Miners put the Rams on the ropes for a mercy rule with a nine-run third, completing a one-hit victory that consisted of 11 strikeouts and a pair of walks.

Gillespie was faced with a much tougher test the next day at Pawnee but the Miners hung in and got the job done. Despite being limited to two hits, Gillespie still managed to manufacture three runs, including two major insurance tallies in the top of the seventh. Per usual, Gipson held the team steady with stifling pitching in the circle, setting down 11 batters on strikes in a one-hitter for the second day in a row.

The Miners were scheduled to host Class 1A powerhouse Carrollton Mar. 14, but the game was delayed and eventually called off due to a thunderstorm.

Southwestern

In other action, Southwestern scored seven runs in the top of the second inning and Grace Strohbeck pitched a three-hit shutout as the Piasa Birds overpowered the Bunker Hill Minutemaids, 13-0, in their season opener Mar. 12.