Argylls end Elwood’s win streak, season

FAIRMOUNT — The sun set on Elwood’s high school softball season and on the coaching career of JR Reese here Monday night.

The Panthers entered Monday’s Class 2A Madison- Grant Sectional riding an eight-game winning streak and had Friday’s game over Caston gone longer than two innings, the streak could have been nine.

The host Argylls and twotime defending sectional champions, however, were not intimidated as they jumped out to an early lead and went on to defeat the Panthers 6-2 and advance to Tuesday’s semifinal game against Eastern.

Not only did Monday’s loss end Elwood’s season, it also ended the Reese coaching era. Reese, who guided the Panthers to a state runner- up finish in 2018, announced before the season was over this would be his final season.

The Argyll seniors were not ready for their season to end as they came out and took a 1-0 lead in the first. Johnna Hiatt singled with two outs Her courtesy runner Cayleigh Stitt came in stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored on Katie Duncan’s bloop single.

Elizabeth Lee’s RBI double with one out in the second inning upped the lead to 2-0. Lee then scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 3-0.

Elwood got one of those runs back in the top of the third. Nicole Durm drew a two-out walk, Olivia Shannon reached on a bunt single and Averi Savage beat out an infield single to load the bases. Durm scored on a passed ball before Makenzie Cornwell flied out to center to end the threat with M-G still on top, 3-1.

The Argylls countered with two runs in the bottom of the third. Daya Greene led off the inning with a bunt and was safe at first when it resulted in an error. Shannon came back and got Maegan Wilson to ground into a fielder’s choice, forcing Greene out at second. But Hiatt lined a single to left and Duncan’s base hit up the middle plated Wilson. Carley Holliday’s groundout scored Stitt and M-G’s lead was 5-1.

Kelsey Armes hit a leadoff single for Elwood in the fourth but Duncan retired the next three batters in order and Armes never advanced.

A Panther error in the bottom of the fifth inning resulted in Madison-Grant’s sixth and final run of the game.

Elwood had an opportunity for a big rally in the top of the sixth but was unable to score more than one run.

Savage reached on an error to lead off the sixth and Cornwell followed with a base hit to right-center. Greene saved a potential run when she made a nice back-handed stop to her right on Armes’ hard grounder. Greene threw to third to get the forceout for the first out of the inning. Yzabelle Ramey beat out a bunt for a base hit to load the bases with just the one out.

Boston drew a walk to score Cornwell and keep the bases loaded. Macey Seibel came in to run for Boston. The inning ended when Maddie Parkhurst hit a hard line drive but right to Greene at short. She then threw across to first to double up Seibel and the inning was over with the Argylls on top 6-2.

Duncan retired the Panthers in order in the seventh.

Duncan pitched all seven innings, giving up two unearned runs on five hits. She struck out four and walked two.

Those five hits allowed were all singles by five different Panthers – Shannon, Savage, Cornwell, Armes and Ramey. Boston and Durm drew the walks.

Shannon started in the circle for the Panthers and